Stay safe guide for new students from fire chief

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West Yorkshire Fire chiefs are warning students not to let their future careers go up in smoke as they head off to university.

Thousands of teenagers are currently heading off to study their degrees across West Yorkshire as they embark on the next exciting step of their education.

For many it‘s a first taste of independence as they fly the nest and go it solo, living in halls of residence or university digs.

As Freshers‟ Weeks/Fortnights kick off across the county, WYFRS want young people to enjoy the new freedom open to them – but do so safely.

Robin Ward , Calderdale District Prevention Manger, said the first time away from home is a chance for students to let their hair down but also presents the added responsibility of ensuring their own safety without mum and dad to fall back on.

“Make sure you and your housemates know the quickest way out in the event of fire and consider an alternative route in case your usual one is blocked.

“If a fire starts get out, stay out and dial 999.

“I would also ask students to dispose of their waste responsibly to prevent deliberate fire setting of combustible materials in the community.”

WYFRS has given these basic survival tips.

When you arrive at your new digs:

Don’t overload plug sockets.

Remember to switch off electrical equipment such as hair straighteners, blow dryers and mobile phone chargers when not in use.

Do not leave laptops on top of bedding when plugged in as they can overheat and start a fire.

Secure portable heaters up against a wall, so they don’t fall over. Keep them away from curtains and furnishings and never dry clothes on them.

Establish where your nearest escape route is in the event of a fire.

If there isn‘t already one present, fit a smoke alarm on each level of the property and test it weekly.

If the building you are living in is managed by the university or a private landlord speak to them if you have any concerns.

Cooking

Don‘t leave cooking unattended.

Take extra care when frying with oil as this is an extremely common cause of fire. If one does occur, NEVER put water on it as it will turn into a fireball.

Ensure your cooking appliances are kept clean – a build-up of grease can cause a fire.

After a night out get a takeaway – cooking and alcohol do not mix.

Candles

Keep candles away from flammable surfaces or textiles such as curtains, TV sets or bath tubs and never leave them unattended.

Always remember to extinguish them properly before going to sleep.

Smoking

Take extra care when smoking inside especially if you have consumed alcohol.

Don‘t smoke in bed and make sure you‘ve extinguished your cigarette properly before you go to sleep.

Use a proper ashtray made of non-combustible material – never a bin.

E-cigarettes

Do not buy counterfeit products.

Although they are charged via a USB port - ONLY USE the charger supplied with the product to prevent the battery exploding.

Never leave unattended whilst on charge.