25 September 2023
As many students begin a new year at universities and colleges all over the country Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is urging them to Think Fire Safe.
There are a variety of factors that increase the risk of accidental house fires, and NIFRS is reaching out to students with advice that could help save their life.
This advice comes as part of Student Safety Week 2023, which begins today.
Suzanne Fleming, Group Commander Prevention, NIFRS, explains:
“We know that many people are leaving home for the first time, and so may not be aware of the dangers of fire in the home. Cooking is the number one cause of accidental fires in the home, so please don’t leave cooking unattended, not even for a minute.
“The second most common cause of fire in the home is connected to electrical items. All electrical items can overheat so don’t leave phones, tablets or laptops on the charge longer than necessary.
“The likelihood of a fire accidentally starting is greater if alcohol is involved so remember to think when you drink. Don’t risk cooking, lighting candles or using electric heaters.
“Smoke alarms save lives, but only if they work. Please make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
“It’s important to know that many fires happen at night when occupants are asleep. Always carry out a night-time check by extinguishing cigarettes and candles, switching off electrics, closing all doors and remember to never smoke in bed.
“Have a fire escape plan that everyone you live with is aware of. Make sure you know where the door keys are and keep escape routes clear of clutter.
“If a fire starts, close the door on the fire, alert everyone in the property if safe to do so and get out, stay out and call 999 and get the Fire & Rescue Service out.”