Encouraging Students to Consider Fire Safety

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Student Fire Safety Week campaign.

Running from 25-31 October, the campaign raises awareness on the risk of fire to students starting out on their journey into university life.

Sion Slaymaker, Head of Business Fire Safety for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said,

“For many young adults, this is the time of year when they start a new chapter in their lives by moving away from support networks and taking care of themselves in different surroundings. This new and exciting environment can present unfamiliar risks, of which Fire Safety awareness is one such area. As a result, the Business Fire Safety and Community Safety Teams at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are encouraging students to be fire safe in their accommodation and to consider the risks that may be present.”

Neil Evans, Deputy Head of Community Safety said,

“Most of the fires we are called to in student accommodation start in the kitchen, usually when cooking has been left unattended. If there is one thing I urge all students to consider it is that If you've been drinking, please give cooking a miss. If you fall asleep and your food catches fire, you’ll wake up with more than a sore head…if you wake up at all. I would also strongly recommend that you show your smoke alarm some love and test it on a regular basis – it could save your life.”

The Service has provided some more simple steps that can be taken to ensure that students are kept safe.

  • Get to know your property. Develop an escape plan. Know the accommodation inside out, and have options for escape, which should include a plan B should the conventional escape routes be blocked.
  • Ensure that smoke alarms are present on every level of the property, uncovered and functioning. If needed, ensure that a carbon monoxide detector is present. Test the detectors regularly.
  • When sockets are scarce, avoid overloading. Electrical sockets and adapters can pose a risk of fire when overloaded. Be sure to turn items off when not in use, especially items such as straighteners and hairdryers.
  • Consider safety around the kitchen environment, including the positioning of electrical items such as toasters which should be placed away from hazards like curtains and paper. Ensure that electrical items such as toasters are kept clean and placed well away from water.
  • Never leave cooking unattended and take care when frying with oil. If a pan does catch fire never use water. Turn off the heat if safe to do so. If under the influence of alcohol, never attempt to cook.
  • Every University will have a point of contact for fire safety. Landlords and educational institutions are required by law to ensure that the accommodation is safe. Know your rights and who to speak to if you spot a potential risk of fire. Take personal responsibility to raise any issue you see.
  • If a fire occurs, GET OUT, STAY OUT AND CALL 999.

More information about student fire safety can be found on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website. Keep an eye out on social media channels and like, follow and share our content to help support this vital campaign.