Christmas Switch Off; christmas and new year closure 2019 - 2020

16 December 2019

Before you finish for the winter break make sure security are informed of any out of hours access requirements, potentially hazardous operations, and that you have closed down your work station.

A banner labelled 'Christmas Switch Off' by UCL Sustainability

UCL will be closed for Christmas and the New Year from 5:30pm on Friday 20th December 2019 to 7am on Thursday 2nd January 2020. The deadline for informing security of emergency contacts and out of hours access requirements is Wednesday 18th December at midday. Security can be reached via e-mail at securitysystems@ucl.ac.uk

The following procedures apply to the UCL's main Bloomsbury site defined as all buildings except those of the post graduate medical institutes and sites away from Central London. This includes information for staff on out of hours access during the break for staff and contractors, heating, and library opening hours. Checklists of actions for the Christmas switch off for offices, residences, and laboratories are available to help people to avoid wasting electricity, gas, and water during the break.

Before leaving for the Christmas break on Friday 20th December 2019, all staff should ensure that:

  • Turn off your monitor and laptop
  • All lights, heaters and computers are switched off in their department.
  • All gas and water taps are turned off and that hoses connecting apparatus to water taps are securely wired both to the water supply and to the apparatus.
  • The Security Office has received by 12 Noon on Wednesday 18th December a copy of a list of places, such as laboratories with constant operating equipment, where there is a possible danger from flooding or fire.
  • The Security Office has received by 12 noon on Wednesday 18th December written details of persons who can be contacted in cases of emergency (Other than those already on the Control room database).


In previous years special arrangements have been in place for complete lock down periods during the break, namely Christmas day, Boxing & New Year’s day where an alternative access card would be needed, but as times and departmental requirements for Access have changed we feel this is no longer necessary and are treating the whole College closure as an extended Weekend. Any member of staff who is unsure of their personal access rights can clarify by contacting Security Systems on their team e-mail address securitysystems@ucl.ac.uk

Heads of Departments are asked to bring the contents of this letter to the attention of members of their department and to remind them of the need to take care when working during periods of closure and that any procedures which have been assessed as having a significant level of risk should not be carried out by persons working alone.

 We would like to stress the importance for individuals to maintain internal security within their departments.  Any incident which appears suspicious should be reported to the Security Control Room on the UCL Emergency Number - 222.

The Christmas Switch Off: Action on Climate Change

We need your help to stop carbon emissions this Christmas.

Last year we saved 600 tonnes of CO2, that’s like planting 10,000 trees! With your help, we can save more carbon this Christmas.

Win a £100 worth of plants in your department by pledging to Switch Off this Christmas!
To win use our resources to spread the message in your department! Resources include posters, email footers, switch off checklists and many more! 


As part of the Christmas Switch Off, buildings will not be heated. Areas that require constant temperature control for experimentation will be heated as normal, as will the Student Centre. 

Out of Hours Contractor Working

 We would ask all Estates project officers to submit weekend/out of hours work forms for all contractors requiring access during the college closure by 12 Noon  on Wednesday 18th December 2019 in order to give the Security Team adequate time to evaluate and collate access requirements. It is also to be noted that the Contractor welfare facility will only be open on 23rd, 24th, 30th, 31st  December during the closure period. Cloak room staffing will not be available.

Library Christmas Opening Hours

Most of our libraries will close at 17:00 on Friday 20th December and re-open on Thursday 2nd January 2020.

The Student Centre will be open throughout the Christmas period 24 hours a day for UCL students and staff.

Please see our Christmas Opening Hours page for more information.

Please note: All general access to campus during the closure period will be via the main Gower Street entrance on the production of a Valid UCL ID card.

Many thanks in advance for your help and co-operation in implementing these arrangements and the whole team would like to take the opportunity of wishing you a happy Christmas, Festive Season, and New Year.