Moving away from home and starting university can be daunting, but students and parents can rest assured that a new initiative from Kent Fire and Rescue Service is set to help keep new students safe from fire.
The fire service has teamed up with Canterbury Christ Church University to launch a pilot initiative designed to remind students of simple steps they can take to reduce the chance of fire in their halls of residence.
Bright and colorful stickers were placed around all 305 university managed student flats, including around1600 bedrooms, ahead of the new influx of students.
Stickers serve as a constant reminder
The stickers focus on six topics:
- Avoiding cooking after drinking alcohol
- Not covering up smoke detectors
- Keeping the hob clean and clear
- Not overloading plug sockets
- Unplugging chargers
- Unplugging straighteners
With stickers dotted around the flats, this will be a constant reminder of how the students can reduce the chance of fire in their accommodation, highlighting the importance of maintaining safety features, such as not covering up smoke detectors.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service attends an average of four fires in official student halls of residence each year across Kent and Medway, and a majority of those incidents involve cooking.
Taking simple steps to prevent fire
Ian Thomson, Assistant Director for Community Safety at Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “This initiative is such a simple way of jogging the memory of students living on their own for the first time, and encouraging them to take simple steps to help prevent a fire."
This type of prevention work is important in order to keep students safe and further reduce the number of fires"
“With so many people living under one roof in halls of residence, and most living alone for the first time, this type of prevention work is important in order to keep students safe and further reduce the number of fires. It takes just one pair of straighteners left on, one overheated charger, or cooking left unattended to start a fire – and if the smoke detector is covered up, the consequences could be dire."
“So these small reminders could make a big difference to the safety of students and their flat mates."
Ensuring students keep themselves safe
Sian Waghorn, Accommodation Manager at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “We are delighted to continue our work in partnership with Kent Fire and Rescue Service to ensure our students keep themselves safe and to be aware of potential fire risks during their University experience with us and beyond.”
If the pilot is well received by students, the fire service will look to roll the student safety sticker scheme out to more universities and student letting agents across Kent and Medway.