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Stay fire savvy


Today is the first day of student fire safety month. This awareness month is part of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue's community safety campaign, helping to spread advice on fire safety and highlight ways to prevent possible fires.

If you're packing your bags this summer and heading off to university, here are some top tips on how to prevent fires.

Avoid overloading plug sockets

This may be difficult to do, especially if you're living in a room in halls with limited plug sockets, but overloading them can cause fires, extension lead and adaptors will have a limit to how much electricity they can take so it's always best to use one plug socket for each appliance. 

Never leave cookers or frying oil unattended, or risk falling asleep whilst you're cooking

55 per cent of 18-24 year olds deaths in fires happened because of cooking appliance misuse and careless handling, so when you get home from a night out with your friends and fancy a pizza make sure you stay close - maybe tackle that pile of washing up to make sure you stay awake.

Don't dry clothes on portable heaters or place them next to curtains

If your pile of washing is getting too big, and just can't wait for your next visit home, don't be tempted to give them a quick wash and then dry them on your room's portable heater. They aren't designed for that and fires can be easily caused by doing so.

Make sure your accommodation has working fire alarms on each level and you know where your emergency exits are

You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire if you do not have a working smoke alarm. Just like when you're at home, check your fire alarm battery. It may not be your responsibility, but it only takes a few minutes and by doing so you could be saving lives.

Keep candles and cigarettes away from flammable surfaces

Cigarettes and candles have been the cause of 1,500 18-24 years olds injuries over the last five years. So no matter how stinky the shoes are under your roommates bed, don't go to lectures with your incense still burning. Before you lock your door, make sure you've blown out any candles and stub out any cigarettes.

Never leave your mobile phone charger plugged in when you're not using it

Leaving your charger switched on is a big fire hazard. The constant flow of electricity is dangerous, so please make sure you switch it off and unplug it.

For more advice on fire safety or to book a free home fire risk check and smoke alarm fitting, visit:

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire safety at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Young people may be living without parents and being independent for the first time this summer, so we wanted to give them all the advice they need to stay safe at home.

"If you're staying in rented accommodation, or in halls of residence, your landlord has an obligation to keep your home safe from fire, so if you are worried that they aren't doing enough to ensure your safety, contact environmental health."

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