Research by the charity Electrical Safety First found that in five years (2012-2017) there were 911 accidental electrical fires in student halls of residence.
80% of fires in student halls occurred in the kitchen
The charity found that 60% of fires occurred at night, with 56% of students admitting to cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol.
The risks don’t stop with drink though, with over 20% of students admitted to putting things in the microwave that they shouldn’t, and 25% admitted to putting cutlery in the toaster.
Stay Safe in your Student Accomodation
Following these recommendations from Electrical Safety First will help you and your housemates stay safe in your student accommodation:
- Don’t cook when drunk – although it may seem like a great idea to cook a fry up after a night of possible heavy drinking, don’t. The risk of falling asleep or forgetting about food on the hob is much more likely when you’re senses are dulled by alcohol.
- Ensure foil is removed from packaging before you place an item into the microwave.
- Do not leave tea towels or clothing near the hob when in use. In doing so you risk starting a fire that could spread rapidly.
- The top of a microwave might seem like a convenient place to throw things when you come back from a long day at university but when in use this area will conduct heat. This surface should be kept clear at all times.
- Never remove the batteries from your smoke detector. This life saving device will likely be the first warning you get should you need to evacuate the building during a fire.
- Their life, your hands – remember that you’ll be living with many other people in your building meaning reckless behaviour that could potentially start a fire not only puts you in danger but everyone else around you.
Rented Accommodation and Shared Houses
If you rent your accommodation the ask your Landlord about the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). Tenants have an obligation to maintain electrical equipment that they own and use, and report any defects or concerns to their landlord. You must also never carry out your own electrical works in your rented property.