Central and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service supports Student Fire Safety Week

The Central and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Council of Fire Chiefs Student Fire Safety Week campaign.

From October 25 to 31, the campaign is raising awareness of the risk of fire among students who are starting their path to university life.

The service provided a guide to protect students from fires:

  • Get to know your property. Develop an evacuation plan. Know accommodation thoroughly and have escape options, which should include a Plan B if conventional escape routes are blocked
  • Make sure that smoke detectors are present on all levels of the property, uncovered and functional. If necessary, make sure a carbon monoxide detector is present. Regularly test detectors
  • When outlets are scarce, avoid overloading. Electrical outlets and adapters can present a fire hazard if overloaded. Be sure to turn off items when not in use, especially items such as hair straighteners and hairdryers
  • Consider safety around the kitchen environment, including the placement of electrical appliances such as toasters which should be placed away from hazards such as curtains and paper. Make sure electrical appliances such as toasters are kept clean and placed away from water
  • Never leave cooking unattended and be careful when frying with oil. If a pot catches fire, never use water. Put out the fire if it is safe to do so. If you are under the influence of alcohol, never try to cook
  • Each university will have a point of contact for fire safety. Homeowners and educational institutions are required by law to ensure that housing is safe. Know your rights and who to contact if you see a potential fire hazard. Take personal responsibility for raising any issue you see
  • In case of fire, GET OUT, STAY OUT AND CALL 999

Sion Slaymaker, corporate fire safety manager in the 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 a different environment. This new and exciting environment may present unknown risks, of which fire safety awareness is one such area. As a result, the Fire Safety and Community Safety Teams of the Central and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services are encouraging students to be fire safe in their accommodation and to consider the risks that may be present.

Neil Evans, Deputy Chief of Community Safety, said: “Most fires we are called to in student accommodation start in the kitchen, usually when the kitchen is left unattended. If there is one thing I urge all students to consider, it is if you have been drinking, please let the cooking run out. If you fall asleep and your food catches fire, you’ll wake up with more than a headache … if you wake up at all. I also highly recommend that you show some love to your smoke detector and test it regularly – it could save your life.

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