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Advice for Students

Your time as a student should be among the happiest of your life. Don't let a fire change that.

  • Every year, around 420 17-24 year olds are injured in accidental house fires and there are around 6 fatalities
  • It's common for fires to start in the kitchen. Almost half of accidental house fires are caused by cooking
  • Half of the deaths in home fires happen between 10pm and 6am
  • One in three fire deaths is drink related

Are you living in rented accommodation?

  • Make sure it's fitted with smoke alarms on each level and that they are tested regularly
  • Don't overload plug sockets and check all plugs for signs of damage
  • When the house is locked at night ensure everybody knows where the key is kept
  • Ensure that there is a clear, uncluttered means of escape from the building and be aware of windows that are barred or locked

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide leaks can lead to severe illness and even death. In the UK, about 50 people die each year in their homes from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The main cause of this is usually faulty gas appliances emitting dangerous levels of this silent, odourless killer. Regulations have been introduced to tackle this and they state that all landlords must have their gas appliances checked for safety every twelve months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They should also provide all new and existing tenants with a copy of the safety check record.

All students should demand this evidence from their landlord, regardless of whether this is a university, college, private individual or a lettings agency. There are also a number of detection devices available on the market to monitor carbon monoxide levels in your home.

Carbon monoxide can only be detected with a carbon monoxide alarm. Your landlord is obliged to provide you with one if you are in rented accommodation. You will need a carbon monoxide alarm in every room where a solid fuel burning appliance is installed, for example in the living room where there is a gas fire and the kitchen if there is a gas boiler/gas cooker, etc.

Are you living in halls of residence?

All universities and colleges have a person responsible for fire safety. If you've spotted a fire risk or have any concerns speak to them.

  • Check what the fire safety rules are – such as any ban on candles in rooms
  • Pay attention to fire drills and never ignore alarms

General safety advice

  • Never smoke in bed
  • When you have finished a cigarette put it out completely. Make sure all cigarette ends are cold before emptying ash trays
  • Don't leave lighted candles unattended
  • Don't cook if you've been drinking alcohol – especially late at night. One in four injuries from house fires started by deep-frying occurs between 10.00pm and 4.00 am
  • Ensure all electrical appliances are switched off before going to bed

Reviewed: 15/04/2019 (doc:131 V1.1). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.