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Oct 09, 2014 03:49 AM EDT

Cardiff Students Condemn Installation of Metal Cages Against Warm Air Vents on Campus


Cardiff University has placed metal cages against warm air vents on campus to prevent homeless people from sleeping by them during winters.

The move was not well appreciated by students, who described it as disgusting and sickening.

"The homeless people are never there in the day, it's only overnight. They never caused any trouble, never littered nor gathered in groups. They were just content with finding a warm place to sleep at night," Student Lewis Hopkins wrote in his blog.

The University officials claimed that the set of grilles outside the Sir Martin Evans chemistry building are essential for health and safety. They never intended to shoo homeless people away.

Cardiff's Security services said that long term exposure to the steam causes health hazard which would leave the University in an undesirable position. The cages would in fact lower health risks to anyone sleeping by them.

"The area covered by the safety grilles are not hot air vents but boiler flue vents that can potentially produce products of combustion - diluted amounts of carbon monoxide being one of these - as part of the diluted boiler flue gases," the spokesperson said, The Independent reports.

"These vents are considered safe in normal use due to the type of flue dilution system being used but there could potentially be an increased risk if people are sleeping right next to the grilles for very long periods."

Hopkins said that the officials might be correct about the dangers associated with exposure to steam. But, occasionally permitting a homeless person to have a warm night's sleep is more beneficial to their health than leaving them out in the bitter cold.

Third year Cardiff University Journalism student Morgan Towler said that sleeping in freezing cold and soaking wet conditions will pose a greater risk than the harm triggered by steam from the vents. The university should be proactive in making the lives of these people secure instead of worrying about their image and reputation.

The installation of these cages is not an isolated incident. Earlier this summer in London, spikes were placed in places where homeless people sought shelter at night. They were eventually removed following orders from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

" deter rough sleeping are ugly, self-defeating & stupid. Developer should remove them ASAP," Johnson said, Telegraph reports.

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