Students across Devon and Somerset will by now be settling into their new lives at university or college. No doubt preoccupied with new timetables, meeting new and old friends, rather than worrying about the domestic duties such as cleaning rotas, bills or even fire safety...
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are asking students to take 10 minutes to think about fire safety, to have an escape plan in mind and to take personal responsibility for protecting themselves and their housemates from the dangers of fire.
“With all the excitement and opportunity that university life brings, fire safety might not be at the top of your list of priorities,” said Community Safety Manager, Alan Gilson, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service. “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.
Do you know that you are more than twice as likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm? Ensure that all smoke alarms provided are in working order and regularly tested, this will alert you and your housemates to the earliest stage of a fire giving you vital extra time to escape.
55% of 18-24 year olds deaths in fires occurred through misuse of cooking appliances and careless handling of hot substances. It’s all so easy to be distracted when cooking as over half of all incidents happen in the kitchen. Please don’t leave your cooking unattended.
Choose a takeaway…
Rather than cooking after returning home after a night out, why not grab a take away on the way home? More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room in the house and cooking while under the influence of alcohol puts you and your housemates, at a higher risk from fire.
More tips so you don’t burn the house down!
• Have an escape plan (not from homework!) so before going to bed close doors, know where the front door keys are, that sort of thing. Have a plan B in case your route is blocked.
• Take extra care with cigarettes and smoking materials and never smoke in bed – when a cigarette is finished, put it out, right out!
• Never leave candles or tea lights unattended and ensure that they are put in safe holders
• Don’t stick all your electrical appliances into a single extension cord (they could explode!)
• Don’t use fake phone chargers or electrical beauty products (they may also explode!!)
• Don’t put drinks next to your precious Xbox
• Check any furniture has the fire-resistant permanent label
• If a fire starts get out, stay out and call 999
Alan added, “Each and every university or college has a person responsible for fire safety. If you spot a fire risk or have any concerns then you should speak to them.”
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