With coursework, exams, and nights out to think about, fire safety can fall pretty low on the average student’s list of priorities. But with data showing that those living in rented or shared accomodation are seven times more likely to have a fire, it’s important that both landlords and students take the necessary steps to minimise the risk.
Here are just a few ways to improve fire safety in student accommodation.
What are landlords’ responsibilities?
Landlords have a legal responsibility to keep their tenants safe. All landlords must:
- Follow safety regulations
- Provide a smoke alarm on each storey
- Provide a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with a solid fuel burning appliance
- Provide fire alarms and extinguishers
- Ensure constant access to escape routes
- Make sure all furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe
Landlords must also follow electrical safety guidelines. All electrical fittings such as sockets and light fittings must have been professionally installed and all appliances such as cookers and kettles must be safe.
What can students do?
One of the most common causes of kitchen fire comes as a result of leaving cooking appliances unattended. So be sure to stay in the kitchen when food is cooking, rather than going into a different room to pass the time.
Another cause is oil igniting – often the result of a grill that hasn’t been cleaned.
Candles cause more than five fires a day in the UK, and many students use candles and incense to make their halls of residence or student flat more homely. To avoid a fire, make sure you always blow out candles and incense sticks before leaving a room or going to sleep. Keep them away from flammable items such as clothes, bedding or curtains. Battery powered candles and reed diffusers can make safer alternatives.