People living in shared accommodation, such as university halls of residence and privately owned student accommodation, are 7 times more likely to have a fire. But what can be done to protect yourself against the risks?
Stay safe in the kitchen
More than half of all fires are started in the kitchen, so it is vital that appropriate care is taken when cooking (especially if you have been drinking!).
Some of the most common sources of kitchen fire are from leaving cooking appliances on or unattended, or when oil ignites.
Avoid candles and cigarettes
Candles cause more than 5 fires a day
Many new students will be sent off to university with candles and incense to make their halls more homely, but such items pose a significant fire risk. Candles themselves cause more than 5 fires every day.
Always remember to blow out candles and incense sticks before going to sleep or leaving the room. Ensure that they are situated away from flammable items such as clothing, bedding or curtains, and paperwork, or to fully remove the risk, try battery powered candles or reed diffusers.
(smoking in rooms is banned in university accommodation, you should never smoke in rooms and be careful not to drop ash on flammable objects).
Turn off electrical items
Turn off any electrical items that you will not be using overnight.Fires can spread rapidly and can cause severe damage before being noticed, you can reduce the risk overnight by turning off any unused electrical appliances.
Overloading sockets is a big no go, never overload electrical sockets or electrical adaptors.Take particular caution with extension leads/adaptors and high powered items like kettles, heaters and irons to ensure they will not exceed the maximum current rating stated.