Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


University students given fire safety advice

As thousands of young people across Essex get into a new year at university, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service are offering some help and advice to keep you fire safe in halls of residence and student homes. 

While university is a fun and exciting time to make new friends, learn new skills and create memories which will last a lifetime, it is also the first time many students will have lived away from home and looked after themselves in halls of residence, student digs and rented accommodation. 

Unattended cooking and alcohol consumption are two of the dangerous ingredients that can cause fire to student accommodation, so Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is offering advice to thousands of students in Essex to keep them safe. 

In previous years, two students in Colchester have previously had to be rescued from a flat fire after their unattended cooking caught alight after drinking but did not hear the smoke alarm.

And last year, a group of Essex university students were made homeless after a fire started in a bedroom and damaged the whole property. 

Students are encouraged to follow a few simple fire safety tips to make sure they stay safe: 

  • Never attempt to cook after consuming alcohol 
  • Ensure all cookers and hobs are turned off after use 
  • Keep hobs, ovens and grills clean as a build-up of fat and grease can catch fire. Remember to empty the crumb tray in your toaster regularly. 
  • Never leave lit candles or burning incense unattended – this year why not replace wax candles with Flameless or LED candles.
  • Do not dry clothes on electric room heaters or drape fabric over lights 
  • Avoid overloading extension cords and adapters.  Just because there are four sockets per adapter doesn’t mean it’s always safe to use them all!

REMEMBER:  If a fire starts get out, stay out and dial 999 

Will Newman, Head of Prevention, said: “We understand that going to university is an exciting time but we want to make sure that students are safe in their new homes. We need students to follow our advice to make sure that they are safe and that their university experience is fun and importantly remembered for all the right reasons -  and not ruined by a devastating fire.”

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