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Top ten tips for fire safety

Monday 3 October 2016 Student Accommodation

As many students find their feet, there are unfortunately a few lessons which get learned the hard way. So here are ten tips from Fire Protection Online to help keep you safe at uni.

1. Keep Your Eyes On The Food

The majority of fires start in the kitchen, and often as the result of becoming distracted. By staying with your food as it’s cooking, you can prevent it from burning, and are also on hand to stop a small fire from dangerously escalating.

So if you’re really tired from working hard, or if you've had one drink too many, it’s often safer to order a takeaway.

2. Have Working Smoke Alarms

Even though you don’t want it broadcast that you’ve burnt the bacon, smoke alarms really do save lives. So avoid the temptation to remove batteries and instead check weekly that they’re working. Without one, you’re twice as likely to die in a fire.

3. Give Up The Cigarettes

You will almost certainly be banned from smoking indoors, whether you live in university accommodation or rent privately. Accidents can happen, and the best form of prevention is to remove the risks completely.

4. Avoid Candles And Incense

Many students love to light candles and incense. They’re a great way to chill out and unwind, but you may find they’re banned from campus accommodations too. But don’t fret, battery candles and reed diffusers are not only safer but will last longer too.

5. Know Your Safety Equipment

You are likely to have fire blankets and fire extinguishers provided in your university accommodation. Make sure you know where they are kept and how to use them before you need them. In a fire, every second counts.

Should your rented accommodation not have either, then you may want to consider buying them yourself for peace of mind. And if so, you must make sure that what you purchase carries the British Standard Kitemark.

6. Turn Off Your Chargers

Fires involving phone chargers are forever increasing. So firstly, make sure you only ever buy the official replacements. Although they are more expensive, you can guarantee they’ve been manufactured and tested to high standards.

But it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so ensure chargers are switched off when you go to sleep or go out.

7. And Your Electricals Too

When you’re away, or asleep, it’s better to turn everything off. That way, there are fewer risks. But you need to pay particular attention to your heaters, as well as hairdryers and straighteners. And make sure they are kept well away from combustible materials such as clothes, bedding, and paper.

Also, take care to not overload your plug sockets.

8. Raising The Alarm

When living on campus, the fire alarm system means everyone in the building will be made aware of a potential fire instantly. The alarms are automatically activated by the smoke/heater detectors on the ceiling, or manually by a call point on the wall. So if you discover a fire, make sure you press your nearest call point immediately.

In a shared house, you may want something loud to get everyone’s attention, like a gas horn. But please, use them responsibly.

9. Know The Emergency Plan

One of the first things you should do when you move into your new home is to know the best, and quickest, route out to the safety of the assembly point. You can then act swiftly in an emergency without panicking. And don’t go back in until told it is safe, not even to collect belongings.

10. Use Common Sense

Most importantly, you need to recognise what could put you at higher risk of fire. By following these few survival tips, you can stay safe and still have fun.

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