How can we decrease the fire risk for students?

Going to university is a great experience for students however Fire safety advice could be one of the most important lessons they learn.

The National Union of Students (NUS) Research Services reported that 66% of students have cooked after midnight and 50% have done so under the influence of alcohol, but 33% aren’t aware of fire safety precautions in their accommodation.

Reassuringly few university students now regularly smoke in their rooms however they risk fire in a variety of other ways. For example, the appeal of late night food foraging is massive and more than one in ten university students has a toaster or cooks in their bedroom.

Additionally, female undergraduates pose a greater fire risk due to increased issues such as being more likely to dry clothes inappropriately, burn candles, or use hair straighteners.

Student fire safety advice – top tips:

Snack smart: Alcohol can slow reaction times. Consider a takeaway, cold snack if returning late from the pub. Also if a fire does break out your decision making could be affected.

Turn off: Cooking appliances and other electrical items such as products like hair straighteners and mobile phone chargers are turned off when not in use.

Don’t overload sockets: electrical sockets can be a common source for fires

Dry safe: Covering lamps or heaters with clothes or fabrics is a fire risk. Never dry anything close to a fire. Use the tumble dryers if available or dry well away from any heat source.

Escape route: you need to be aware of where fire exits are. Ensure you plan and are familiar with the route and make sure the route is clear of any obstructions.

No naked flames: Remember to put out cigarettes properly. Anything with an open flame is a fire hazard. Take care when using candles and avoid using them in small enclosed spaces.

Test smoke detectors: Most importantly you should test your smoke detector regularly so that if a fire does break out you are alerted. It’s advisable to test it once a week.

Landlords also have a responsibility under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The responsible person for a multi-occupied residential building must carry out and maintain a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment in communal areas to identify and provide adequate fire precautions and procedures to ensure the safety of all relevant persons.

Landlords need to assess the risk of fire. To learn how to simplify fire safety in student accommodation visit and start your free trial of our fire safety compliance tool.