Student Fire Safety Awareness

VP Community and Welfare, Sian Hampson, on fire safety

Fire safety may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but it is something that has gained huge media attention in the last few months. In the wake of the tragedy this summer following the inferno at Grenfell Tower, this important subject has gained some much-needed attention.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to observe fire training by the Avon Fire Services. After working in student accommodation prior to this job, I know about the horrific affects that fires can have. I have never really thought about what it would be like to have to go into that burning building and fight the fire. So that is really what led me to being dressed up like this..

The simulation was tough, the uniform was heavy, I was already tired from a long day of work, the synthetic smoke made it incredibly difficult to see, feelings of claustrophobia rose in me. I spoke to the people who took part in the simulation and they have so much of my respect. They work long hours that put mine to shame, they put themselves in horrid conditions, wear heavy equipment and clothes, and risk their lives to keep us safe.

Many of those I spoke to were also part of a union, we had common ground. For those who don’t know, the fire services have undergone many cuts, had their retirement age upped, and (like many other public services) had very little pay increases in recent years.

So not only do these people work under tough conditions, they also are seeing the effects of austerity in their jobs.

But that isn’t the point in the article, there are things as students we can do to decrease the risk of fires in our houses and flats. If we do these things not only would it make their jobs easier but protect our lives, possessions and homes.

1) Shut your fire door

If you live in UWE Accommodation your fire door has around 1.5 hours of burn time, meaning the fire will be self-contained in that room. There have been fires on Frenchay Campus before which have destroyed a whole room, but not touched the rest of the house because of these doors.

2) Don't leave your cooking unattended 

Lots of fires start like this in student accommodation. Don’t risk it. If you come home drunk and want to eat either have something that doesn’t require cooking, or get a take away.

3) Make sure you test your fire alarms

This can save your life and it only takes a few seconds to do. Your landlord is required to have working fire alarms in your house, if they don’t work report it to them. If they don’t fix it speak to our Advice Centre and they can help.