Safeguarding, supervision and behaviour
- The Science Museum is a public building and your group will be sharing the space with many other visitors. We require adult leaders to remain with their groups at all times, to ensure their safeguarding, manage them during an evacuation and supervise behaviour.
- Please make sure you have the correct adult-to-child ratio:
Ages 5 and under – 1:4
Ages 5 to 11 – 1:8
Ages 11 to 16 – 1:10
Ages 16 to 18 – 1:30
Over 18s – 1 responsible adult per group
- Before the visit, discuss appropriate conduct with your group. 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.
- If someone finds themselves separated from the group they should ask one of our uniformed staff for help. Our staff will contact our Security team or Duty Managers who will call the lead adult on the mobile number supplied at the time of booking.
- If you realise that someone has become separated from the group you must report the situation to our Security team (see below for contact details).
- You must report any other safeguarding concerns to our Security team immediately (see below for contact details).
- Our Security team can be reached on 020 7942 4444 or ask one of our uniformed members of staff to make the call for you.
- 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.
- A Changing Places toilet is available. Please ask a member of our staff for access if you require it.
When it is safe to do so, we will operate a zonal evacuation, asking visitors to leave only the affected area. Visitors in other parts of the museum can continue with their visit.
In a zonal evacuation, we will either direct you into a safe zone of the museum or ask you to leave the building and go to the Assembly Point, whichever we assess to be the safest option.
As a precautionary measure, we will always close the IMAX Theatre whilst any part of the museum is being evacuated, even if the rest of the Wellcome Wing zone (where the IMAX Cinema is located) is kept open.
The Group Entrance area may also be closed to visitors during a zonal evacuation if it is needed as an access route for the emergency services. This means you may not be able to access belongings stored at Group Entrance for a period of time,
In some situations we will need to do a total evacuation, asking all visitors to leave the entire building.
Whether it's a zonal evacuation or a total evacuation an audible alarm and announcements over the public-address system will signal the need for action.
Always follow the instructions of our staff and lead your group calmly but quickly. Please do not stop to take the register until you are in a safe zone or at the Assembly Point outside the museum.
Emergency exits are clearly signposted and doors should unlock automatically. If not, break the glass and push the button in the green release unit next to the door. Breaking the glass will not cause injury,
Lifts must not be used. Our staff will assist wheelchair users and anyone else needing help with stairs.
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.
When you are in a safe place, take the register and report anyone missing to museum staff wearing high-visibility jackets. Bear in mind that, during a zonal evacuation, some of your party may still be in the museum if they were in a safe zone when the alarm sounded .
Please brief your group leaders about what to do in an evacuation, and make sure they know how to contact you.
Magnets and allergens in Wonderlab
- Some exhibits in Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery use magnets that may affect pacemakers or other medical devices. Warning signs are displayed next to these exhibits.
- Allergens such as eggs are used in some of our experiments at the Chemistry Bar in Wonderlab.
- Please contact us for advice if you have any concerns, or ask an Explainer when you check-in for your pre-booked Wonderlab session(s).
- It is mandatory for all staff to undertake relevant safeguarding awareness training.
- Those who work regularly or intensively with children, young people or adults at risk have undergone Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
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.
The museum is covered by a comprehensive network of CCTV cameras. Images are monitored and recorded to help ensure the safety of visitors, staff and exhibits.