There are things you can do to improve your safety and security as a student, especially if you’re moving into new accommodation.
Every year, around 350 18-24 year olds are injured in accidental house fires started by cigarettes, smoking materials and cooking. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re familiar with the basics of fire and gas safety, as well as home and personal security.
By taking a few sensible precautions, you can help protect yourself from injury – or worse:
- Ensure that smoke alarms are installed on every level of your home – and test them weekly.
- Never smoke in bed.
- When you finish a cigarette, put it out completely – and make sure all cigarette ends are cold before emptying ashtrays into bins.
- Don’t leave electrical appliances, such as mobile phones, laptops or e-cigarette chargers, charging overnight. Never place your phone under your pillow while it is on charge.
- Be careful not to leave portable appliances such as laptops on the bed or piles of laundry, as the heat from the battery can start a fire.
- Don’t leave cooking unattended, and don’t cook when you have been drinking.
- Check your furniture has the fire-resistant permanent label.
- Be aware of where fire alarms are located and fire equipment is kept.
- Be careful when using candles, tea lights and incense burners, and always extinguish before you leave the room or go to bed.
If you live in halls of residence
All universities and colleges have a person responsible for fire safety. If you have any concerns or questions about fire safety in halls – for example, you’ve spotted a fire risk – speak to them.
If you are disabled and would need assistance if there was a fire, let the university or college health & safety officer know when you arrive.
You should also check what the fire safety rules are (such as any ban on candles in rooms), pay attention to fire drills and never ignore alarms.
Privately rented accommodation
If you live in a private house or flat, make sure it’s fitted with smoke alarms on each level of the property – and that they are tested regularly.
Check that your escape route is clear. For example, make sure there are no bikes blocking your exit in the hallway, and be aware of any windows that are barred.
You can request a Safe and Well visit by clicking here.
Gas and carbon monoxide safety
If you’re renting privately, your landlord must ensure that all gas appliances are checked once a year by a Gas Safe registered installer.
Your landlord must also show you the safety certificates for all the gas appliances in your property.
Faulty gas appliances are one of the main causes of carbon monoxide poisoning. Remember, you can’t see, smell or hear carbon monoxide.
For more information on domestic gas installation and health & safety, visit the Gas Safe website.