With the new University year fast approaching, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) is urging students to keep themselves and their housemates fire safe.
This week (September 25th to 1st October) is the National Fire Chiefs Council’s Student Fire Safety Week, which aims to provide students with information on how to prevent fires in their accommodation, halls of residence and shared homes.
This year’s campaign aims to reduce the number of false alarms in student halls caused by poor cooking, including burnt toast and incorrect use of appliances.
Students going to university are often moving away from home for the very first time, and while this makes it a very exciting time, WFRS is encouraging students in Warwickshire to think about their accommodation, how they use it safely and reduce any fire risks.
Here’s Warwickshire Fire and Rescue’s top safety tips for the move/return to University:
Ensure that smoke alarms are fitted in your accommodation and test them regularly to make sure they’re working. If they sound, react quickly and evacuate the premises safely
If you find you have fewer electrical sockets, avoid overloading them, as electrical sockets and adapters can pose a risk of fire when overloaded. Make sure to switch items off when you’re not using them, especially items such as straighteners and hairdryers
- Don’t leave phones or tablets charging on soft furnishings such as beds, sofas and chairs, as they can overheat and cause a fire. Always charge them on hard surfaces and don’t leave them charging unattended
- Take care if charging electrical goods such as scooters, bikes and vapes. Always use the correct charger for the device and avoid using counterfeit cables, as these can overheat and spark a fire. Never leave electrical items charging unattended, take them off charge if you’re going out or going to bed
- Never leave cooking unattended, always give it your full attention and take extra care when frying with oil. If a pan does catch fire, never use water to extinguish it; turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Never attempt to cook if under the influence of alcohol
- Position kitchen electrical items, such as toasters, away from hazards like curtains, tea towels and paper. Ensure that electrical items are also kept clean and placed well away from water
- If you’re a smoker, always smoke outside and make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished and disposed of properly
Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Fire Andy Crump said: “It’s the time of year where students are beginning a new chapter in their lives by moving away from home to go to university and getting used to looking after themselves in new surroundings.
“When living away from home it’s especially important to recognise new fire hazards and take precautions to keep yourself safe and reduce the risk.
“There are many ways you can reduce the risk of fire, for example not overloading electrical sockets and not charging devices on soft furnishings, such as beds and sofas. Don’t be tempted to cook after a night out drinking and make sure your accommodation has working smoke alarms fitted – test them regularly.”
For more student fire safety tips, visit our website: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/firesafety.