There are practical steps you can take to improve your safety as a student. Especially if you're moving into new accommodation. Make sure you're familiar with the basics of fire and gas safety.
Every year, around 350 18-24 year olds are injured in accidental house fires started by cigarettes, smoking materials and candles.
It's also common for fires to start in the kitchen. Over half of accidental house fires are caused by cooking.
Keep yourself safe from fire. Sensible precautions
You can prevent fires and injuries by following these simple tips::
- Working smoke alarms save lives. Ensure they are fitted to the ceiling on each level of your property. Test them weekly
- Never smoke in bed
- Take care when you're tired - it's very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight
- When you finish a cigarette, put it out completely - and make sure all cigarette ends are cold before emptying ashtrays into bins
- Avoid cooking when you are tired or if you have had alcohol. Have a takeaway or a cold snack instead
- Keep the oven, hob and grill clean. A build up of fat and grease can easily catch fire
- Distractions when cooking can cause fires. Never leave cooking unattended
- Switch off electrical equipment such as chargers, hair straighteners etc., as soon as you have finished with them
- Charge devices whilst you are awake, not when you are sleeping
- Avoid overloading plug sockets by using inline adapters
- Ensure fire doors are closed at all times and not left propped open
- Be aware of where fire alarms, door and window keys are located and fire equipment is kept
- Plan and practice an escape route with your housemates. Have a back up plan in the event your first escape route is blocked
If you live in halls of residence
All universities and colleges have a person responsible for fire safety.
If you have any concerns or questions about fire safety in halls - for example, you've spotted a fire risk - speak to them.
If you are a disabled student and would need assistance if there was a fire, let the university or college health and safety officer know when you arrive.
You should also:
Check what the fire safety rules are - such as any ban on candles in rooms
Pay attention to fire drills and never ignore alarms
Privately rented accommodation
If you live in a private house or flat, make sure it's fitted with smoke alarms on each level of the property - and that they are tested regularly.
Check that your escape route is clear. For example, make sure there are no bikes blocking your exit in the hallway, and be aware of any windows that are barred.
Beware of late night chips!
One in four injuries from house fires started by deep-frying occurs between 10.00 pm. and 4.00 am.