Thursday, 26 September 2013

Don't Let Fire Ruin Your Freshers

Students in Cambridgeshire are being urged to stay fire safe as they move into digs, meet new people and start a new term at university.

The student lifestyle - which can involve partying, drinking and smoking - can increase the chances of a late night visit from firefighters.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) want students to take a few minutes to make sure they are not putting themselves or their housemates in danger.

Jim Meikle, Cambridge Community Safety Officer at CFRS, said: "For new students there is so much going on it is easy to put fire safety on the back burner, but there are a few easy things you can do to reduce the risk, whether you are living in halls or shared accommodation."

Top fire safety tips for students:
  • Unattended cooking can easily start a fire and it is easy to become distracted or fall asleep when cooking, especially if you are drunk or tired. If you fancy some food after a night out, reach for the takeaway menu, not the frying pan. 
  • Careless use of electrical items also start fires: hair straighteners, portable heaters, laptops and even phone chargers can start a fire if you don't unplug them when they are not in use. Also, be sure not to overload plug sockets. 
  • Candles are naked flames that easily set fire to other items nearby. They are not allowed in halls of residence and students should think twice before using them in shared accommodation. If they are used, they should be in a proper holder, away from anything flammable and extinguished when you leave the room. 
  • Kitchens in student accommodation are equipped with first aid and fire fighting equipment. Familiarise yourself with this equipment and don't use it for fun, or you may find it's not there when someone really needs it. 
  • If you smoke, make sure you always use a proper ashtray and never smoke in bed or if you are tired or drunk.
  • If there is a fire in your home a smoke alarm may save your life. Never take the batteries out of a smoke alarm and never cover it or tamper with it to stop it from going off.