Students urged to think about fire safety whilst at university as new term gets underway

A gas hob. Credit: PA

Students across the country are being urged to be 'fire safe' as they return to university this autumn.

A new campaign, involving Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, asks students to think about how they would deal with a fire in their lodgings.

The service says young people can take simple steps to reduce their risk of fire, including not cooking after drinking and not leaving frying pans unattended.

In Bournemouth, DWFRS are working closely with the universities and the accommodation providers to help educate students to help them take responsibility for their fire safety.

What steps can students take to reduce the risk of fire?

  • 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.

Source: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue

The campaign runs from today (25 September) until the 1 October, and encourages everyone to think about fire.

Education Manager Tess Cross said “With all the excitement and opportunity that university life brings, fire safety might not be at the top of your list of priorities.

“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.

“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, or your accommodation provider.”

Anyone with concerns can request a safe and well visit from the fire service, which will help identify risks in their home.

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