Supervision and behaviour
- The Science Museum is a public building and is open to all. We ask adult group leaders to remain with their students at all times, to ensure wellbeing and safety (especially during an evacuation) and supervise behaviour.
- Please make sure you have the correct adult-to-student ratio—1:15 for general visits and either 1:10 or 1:8 for other activities—as specified at the time of booking.
- Before the visit, discuss appropriate conduct with your students. If the behaviour of anyone in your group adversely affects the safety or enjoyment of other visitors or staff, or risks damage to exhibits, we may ask this person to leave. We recommend you have contingency measures in place, just in case.
- The Museum is covered by a comprehensive network of CCTV cameras. Images are monitored and recorded to help ensure the safety of visitors and exhibits.
- We have trained staff to provide first-aid treatment. Please ask if you require assistance or call 020 7942 4444.
- There are several fully equipped, fully accessible first-aid rooms in the Museum. These can be made available if you need them.
- The nearest accident and emergency department is at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, tel. 020 3315 8000.
- All first-aid incidents are recorded, and you can request a copy of our report if anyone in your group is involved.
- Changing facilities for students with disabilities are available. Please contact us for further information.
We operate a zonal evacuation procedure, whereby we only ask visitors in the zone affected to leave that area. Whilst one area is cleared, visitors in other parts of the Museum can continue with their visit.
Where possible we will direct you into an open section of the Museum. However, you may be required to leave the building and go to the Assembly Point.
Always follow the instruction of our staff and lead your group out of the evacuating area as quickly as possible. Please do not stop to take the register until you are in a safe zone or at the Assembly Point outside the Museum.
As a precautionary measure, we close the IMAX Theatre whilst any other zone is being evacuated.
The Group Entrance area is also closed to visitors during an evacuation because it is used as the access route for the emergency services. This means you will not be able to access belongings stored at Group Entrance, even if the rest of the building in that zone is still open.
An audible alarm and announcements over the public-address system will signal an evacuation. Fire exits are clearly signposted, and doors should unlock automatically; if necessary, break the glass on the emergency door release unit next to the door. Lifts must not be used. Our staff will assist wheelchair users and visitors with mobility considerations.
Always follow the instructions of our staff and lead your group out of the evacuating area as quickly as possible – please do not stop to take the register until you are in a safe zone or at the assembly point outside the Museum.
The Assembly Point is in front of the Imperial College Business School on Exhibition Road (to the north of the Science Museum). Occasionally it is necessary to evacuate to the secondary assembly point at the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens at the north end of Exhibition Road.
Take the register at the Assembly Point and report anyone missing to Museum staff wearing high-visibility jackets. Bear in mind that, if other groups in your party were in a different zone when the alarm sounded, they may still be in the museum. Rest assured that they will be safe and our staff will be happy to help if they have any concerns.
- All our staff have undergone a standard police check. Staff working directly with students have undergone a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
- Staff in the hands-on galleries or delivering educational events have relevant experience and training.
As part of the Science Museum Group, we have public and product liability insurance. Download our insurance confirmation letter (PDF).
Health and safety policies
- As part of the Science Museum Group we have written Health and Safety policy statements.
- All staff attend mandatory Health and Safety training courses.
- The Museum is subject to an annual independent audit to ensure that Health and Safety standards are maintained.
- The Museum’s public areas have been designed, and are maintained, as safe spaces for all our visitors.
- Our exhibitions and activities are designed with full consideration of risk control measures. Assessments are completed for all new works and activities.
- Daily safety checks are carried out on all galleries. Hazards are isolated or rectified immediately.
We are happy to advise group leaders about planning or booking a visit, or making changes to a visit itinerary. Contact our Learning Support Team on 020 7942 4777.
During term time, our phone lines are open between 08.45 and 16.30 on Mondays to Wednesdays, and between 08.45 and 15.15 on Thursdays and Fridays. Hours may vary during holiday periods.