With a new academic year beginning for many, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is urging students getting ready for university and college to be aware of the dangers of fire.
Students across Northern Ireland will be embarking upon academic studies that will set them for the future but the most important lesson learnt during term time, that of fire safety could ultimately save their lives.
Firefighters will be visiting university and college campuses over the coming weeks to provide fire safety advice, leaflets and information to help students to stay fire safe in their shared or rented accommodation.
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Group Commander Kevin O’Neill said: “Living away from home for the first time can be very exciting for young people and it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of student life and forget about fire safety.
As a fire and rescue service it’s important that we engage directly with young people at this time in their lives – not only will this keep them fire safe, it will install good fire safety habits and patterns for the rest of their lives.
“We would urge all students to think about fire safety and take personal responsibility for looking after themselves and their housemates to protect them from the dangers of fire.
“Firefighters will be visiting university and college campuses in the coming weeks to give out fire safety advice and to remind students about the importance of having a working smoke alarm. Students might not be aware but they can request a free home fire safety check through NIFRS.
“Ensure that all smoke alarms provided are in working order and tested once a week. This will alert you and your housemates to the earliest stage of a fire giving you vital extra time to escape. Follow a good fire safe bedtime routine and take some time to agree a fire escape plan to ensure everyone is clear what to do in the event of an emergency.
“Following our regular fire safety updates and advice on Facebook or Twitter will help students ensure fire doesn’t become their uninvited guest during term time. We want students to enjoy this next chapter in their lives but to act responsible and to help us in our role in protecting the community.”
Student Fire Safety Advice:
- Test Your Smoke Alarm – only a working smoke alarm will waken you during the night. Make sure that all smoke alarms provided are in working order and tested every week.
- Prepare A Fire Escape Plan – know where the fire exits are and made sure furniture or stored items do not block them. If there is no fire exit, plan an alternative escape route other than by the main entrance door.
- Carry Out A Night Time Check – by checking a few things before you go to bed you can reduce the risk. It only takes a minute and can save your life.
o Turn off all electrical appliances not designed to be left on;
o Put a guard on open fires;
o Put out all cigarettes and empty ashtrays into a non-combustible container;
o Put out all candles;
o Close all internal doors;
- Do not cook when under the influence of alcohol.
You can request a free home fire safety check by calling 028 9260 0477 or logging onto www.nifrs.org for further fire safety advice.