As a student living in Sheffield, you’re likely to be focused on your studies, social life, and exploring the vibrant city. Amidst the excitement, it’s crucial not to overlook one of the most critical aspects of student life: fire safety in your accommodation. A small mistake can lead to devastating consequences, so it’s essential to be aware of potential hazards and take proactive measures to prevent fires. In this blog post, we will discuss the common fire risks related to candles, overloaded sockets, e-bike charging batteries, kitchens, and cigarettes, along with practical tips to ensure the safety of you and your property.
Fire Safety In Your Sheffield Student Accommodation
1. Candles: A No-Go
Candles may create a cosy atmosphere, but they are a significant fire hazard, especially in shared living spaces. A moment of forgetfulness can lead to a fire outbreak, potentially endangering lives and causing extensive damage. In Sheffield student accommodations, candles should not be used under any circumstances. Instead, opt for battery-operated LED candles or other safer alternatives to enjoy a similar ambience without the risks.
“On average 2 fires a day are started by candles”
2. Overloading Sockets: A Hidden Danger
Living in student accommodation often means having numerous electronic devices and gadgets. It’s easy to overload sockets with extension cords and adapters, leading to overheating and potential electrical fires. To minimize the risk, distribute your devices across different outlets and avoid using multiple extension cords daisy-chained together. If you notice any signs of overheating, such as scorch marks or burning smells (smells like rotting fish), immediately unplug the devices and notify your accommodation management.
“Faulty electrics (appliances, wiring and overloaded sockets) cause around 4,000 fires in the home across the country every year.”
3. E-Bike Charging Battery Accidents
Electric bikes (e-bikes) have gained popularity due to their convenience and eco-friendly nature. However, charging their batteries improperly or buying unreputable brands can be hazardous. Always use the manufacturer-recommended charger and never leave the battery charging unattended, especially overnight or when you’re away from your accommodation. Avoid charging e-bike batteries on flammable surfaces and keep them away from combustible materials to prevent potential fires.
“Currently fire brigades are called out in the UK once every 2 days for e-bike battery fires”
4. Kitchen Safety
The kitchen is the heart of any student accommodation, but it’s also a common place for fires to start. Here are some tips to enhance kitchen safety:
- Never leave cooking unattended, especially when using the stove or oven.
- Keep flammable items like kitchen towels, curtains, and plastic away from the cooking area.
- In the event of a grease fire, never use water to extinguish it. Instead, use a fire blanket or a metal lid to smother the flames.
- Regularly inspect kitchen appliances for any signs of damage or faulty wiring.
“Cooking appliances account for almost half (46%) of all accidental house fires”
5. Cigarettes: A Strict Ban
Smoking inside student properties is not only a potential fire hazard but also a violation of most accommodation policies. Cigarettes, when improperly disposed of or left unattended, can lead to fires that spread rapidly. Always smoke in designated outdoor smoking areas and ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished in appropriate receptacles. Be responsible and respect the rules set by your accommodation to protect yourself and your fellow residents.
“Smoking materials including cigarette lighters account for around 9% of fires”
Make sure you know what to do in an emergency.
Already a Thornsett tenant? Find out what to do in your building by following the fire safety plan in the tenant portal
What to Do in a Fire Emergency in Student Accommodation
Experiencing a fire emergency in your student accommodation can be a terrifying situation. However, knowing how to react calmly and quickly can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety and that of others around you. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do in a fire emergency:
- Stay Calm and Alert Others: Shout “Fire!” or knock on doors to inform roommates and neighbours. Ensure everyone knows about the emergency. If the building has a shared alarm break point, activate it.
- Leave the Building Immediately: Don’t try to extinguish the fire; prioritize evacuation. Leave belongings behind and use the nearest exit. Avoid elevators.
- Crawl Low in Smoke: If there’s smoke, crawl on your hands and knees as the air is clearer closer to the floor.
- Feel Doors for Heat: Before opening doors, check for heat using the back of your hand. If hot, find an alternative route or signal for help from your window.
- Follow Fire Escape Routes: Use designated escape routes for a safe evacuation.
- Assemble at the Meeting Point: Go to the designated meeting point away from the building until the all-clear is given by the fire department.
- Call Emergency Services: Dial emergency services to report the fire and provide accurate information.
- Do Not Re-Enter the Building: Never re-enter until the fire department declares it safe; fire can reignite.
- Inform Accommodation Management: Notify management after the fire is controlled for further guidance.
- Learn from the Experience: Review the incident and discuss fire safety with others. Preparedness saves lives. Stay safe!
Fire safety in your Sheffield student accommodation is a collective responsibility. By being vigilant and following these essential fire safety tips, you can create a safer living environment for yourself and your fellow students. Remember, fire prevention starts with awareness and proactive measures. Prioritize fire safety, and you can focus on enjoying your time in Sheffield with peace of mind. Stay safe!
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About Thornsett Properties
Thornsett Properties have been providing Sheffield student accommodation since 1985. We supply housing to over 650 students studying at Sheffield Uni and Sheffield Hallam Uni every year. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents, meaning all our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. Our aim is to help you succeed whilst living and studying in Sheffield student accommodation