Fire safety alarm plea to students
THE most senior Fire and Rescue Service officer in the West has appealed to students here to have a smoke alarm fitted as his officers deploy Fire Safety Week for students in Londonderry.
Urging students getting ready for the start of the new university and college terms to be aware of the dangers of fire, District Commander Barry McDowell said he wanted to remind students to keep fire safe in their shared or rented accommodation by always ensuring they had a working smoke alarm fitted and by following basic fire safety advice. To help them along he issued an eight-point plan to help students stay fire safe.
Based at Crescent Link Fire Station, DC McDowell said: “Young people living away from home for the first time can get caught up in the excitement of student life and may not necessarily think about fire safety. I am urging all students to take some time to think about fire safety and to take personal responsibility for protecting themselves and their housemates from the dangers of fire.
“Ensure that all smoke alarms provided are in working order and tested once a week. This will alert you and your housemates to the earliest stage of a fire giving you vital extra time to escape. Follow a good fire safe bedtime routine and take some time to agree a fire escape plan to ensure everyone is clear what to do in the event of an emergency.
“We are particularly keen to discourage students from cooking when returning home after a night out. More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room in the house and cooking while under the influence of alcohol puts you and your housemates too, at a higher risk from fire,” said the District Commander.
Firefighters will be visiting university and college campuses over the coming weeks to provide fire safety advice, leaflets and information. Students will be encouraged to avail of free home fire safety checks enabling local Firefighters to check their accommodation to help make it fire safe.
“We want students to enjoy this time in their lives but to act responsible and help us in our role in protecting the community,” said District Commander McDowell.
l Test your smoke alarm; only a working smoke alarm will waken you during the night. Make sure that all smoke alarms provided are in working order and tested every week.
l Prepare a fire escape plan; know where the fire exits are and make sure furniture or stored items do not block them. If there is no fire exit, plan an alternative escape route other than by the main entrance door.
l Carry out a night-time check; by checking a few things before you go to bed you can reduce the risk. It only takes a minute and can save your life.
l Turn off all electrical appliances not designed to be left on.
l Put a guard on open fires.
l Put out all cigarettes and empty ashtrays into a non-combustible container.
l Extinguish all candles.
l Close all internal doors;
l Do not cook when under the influence of alcohol.
Students can request a free home fire safety check for additional fire safety advice by telephoning 028 9260 0477 or logging onto www.nifrs.org for further fire safety advice.
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Weather for Londonderry
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
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Wind direction: North west
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Wind direction: North west