Many fire and rescue authorities undertake activity to coincide with ‘Freshers’ Week and new students arriving at new accommodation and potentially living independently for the first time.
With new students settling in to their new homes and new routines and returning students getting back into the swing of all things university, Suffolk Fire and Rescue, as part of the Fire Kills Campaign, is encouraging all students to have a think about their fire safety.
“With all the excitement and opportunity that university life brings, fire safety might not be at the top of your list of priorities,” said Conrad Burgess, Station Commander Protection. “However, in amongst all your studying and socialising, taking a few moments to think about your accommodation, how you use it and what you might do to reduce any fire risks might save your life.”
By following these Fire Kills campaign top tips, you can help make sure that your student experience is a fire-safe one:
- Don’t leave cooking unattended and take extra care when frying with oil
- Don’t cook if you’ve been drinking alcohol, especially late at night
- If you smoke, make sure you put your cigarette out, right out
- Keep candles away from flammable surfaces or material that might burn – such as curtains, TVs, bath tubs – and never leave lit candles unattended
- Don’t overload plug sockets and switch off electrical equipment such as chargers, hair straighteners and blow dryers when not in use
- Make sure you know your escape routes and have a plan B in case your route is blocked
- In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999
Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s Conrad Burgess added “Each and every university or college has a person responsible for fire safety. Take some time to find out who there are and then if you spot a fire risk or have any concerns, then you should speak to them.”
Suffolk Fire and Rescue also has lots of information and helpful leaflets on their website.
Last year, Unite Students, a developer and manager of student accommodation, ran their first Student Fire Safety Week, targeting messages at their 46,000+ students in 26 cities across the UK. Last year, a number of fire and rescue authorities actively supported this campaign through visits, live demonstrations and on social media. Unite Students engaged with students to evaluate this activity and are drawing on this to refine this year’s iteration. They have approached the relevant fire and rescue authorities for support in these cities again for 2016.
With cooking being such a big risk in student accommodation – and Unite Students confirm that it started the most fires in their premises – this is their focus for this year’s activity.
More details of Unite Students’ activity can be found on their website once their plans are finalised.
If you are a Landlord renting accommodation to students, then Suffolk Fire and Rescue has advice on your legal responsibilities to ensure that you comply with the Fire Safety Regulations. For more information see their website or contact Suffolk Fire and Rescue Business Support.