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Commercial Services


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Fire safety for students

Following the fire in Lancashire in November 2019 the Service issued a press release.

Fire safety may not be high on your list of priorities while you are busy studying and socialising but take the time to read the following basic tips and it could help save your life.


  • Don't leave cooking unattended
  • Take extra care when frying with oil as this is an extrememely common cause of fire. If this should happen, never put water on it - it will turn into a fireball.
  • Don't cook if you have been drinking alcohol especially late at night

Candles and smoking

  • Take extra care when smoking inside
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Extinguish cigarettes and candles properly before you go to sleep
  • Keep candles away from flammable surfaces or textiles, eg. curtains, TVs or baths
  • Never leave candles unattended
  • Use a proper candle holder

Heating and electrics

  • Don't overload plug sockets
  • Switch off electrical equipment, ie. hair straighteners, blow dryers and mobile phone chargers when not in use
  • Secure portable heaters up against a wall so they don't fall over
  • Keep heaters away from curtains and furnishings and never dry clothes on them

Escape routes

  • Know your escape route - the quickest way out and have an alternative
  • Keep the escape routes clear of clutter
  • Make sure everyone knows where window and door keys are kept
  • If a fire starts, get out, stay out and call 999.

Living in halls of residence

  • Check what the fire safety rules are - there may be a ban on candles in rooms for example
  • Pay attention to fire drills and never ignore alarms
  • Make yourself aware of the procedure of what to do on discovery of a fire or being alerted to a fire
  • All universities and colleges have a person responsible for fire safety
  • If you've spotted a fire risk or have concerns, speak to the responsible person
  • If you are not satisfied with the response, please contact the National Union of Students (NUS). 
  • Should you still be unsatisfied with the response, you can report the building to the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service community safety team - call 0800 05 02 999 or email
  • We also provide fire safety advice for student accommodation building owners and landlords

Top tip

  • If you are living in rented accommodation, make sure it's fitted with smoke alarms on each level and that you test them regularly
  • Landlords are not necessarily obliged to fit smoke alarms.
  • If you need to obtain one yourself, they are cheap and easy to fit and make a great house gift!

Know your rights!

In all properties, the landlord must:

  • ensure gas appliances are installed and serviced every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • provide all new and existing tenants with a copy of the safety check record
  • maintain wiring and all electrical appliances they provide to ensure they are safe to use
  • make sure any furniture and furnishings they provide meet the fire resistance regulations

You can also download this information as a leaflet.



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