Moving away from home is exciting but remember, your parents probably did more for you than you realise. Concern for health and safety in the home is sure to be one of these things, especially fire safety.

There’s some essential information you need to make sure you protect yourself and your belongings when you move in.

Get your landlord right

When looking to rent your own property, be mindful of your landlord’s responsibilities for your health and safety:

  • Your landlord must ensure gas appliances are installed and maintained annually by a registered plumber.
  • Wiring and electrical appliances must be safe to use.
  • Furniture and furnishings must meet fire resistance regulations.

Say no to smoking

Did you know that every three days someone dies from a fire caused by a cigarette? Don’t take the risk of smoking indoors. Make sure you, your flatmates or any guests leave the building for their cigarette. If someone does want to smoke inside, make sure they carefully extinguish their cigarette especially if they’ve been drinking!

Prevention is better than cure

Your landlord should have provided you with interlinked, mains operated fire alarms. If not, make sure this is the first thing you raise with them! You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire if you do not have one. Oh, and make sure you test it regularly too.

Read the instructions

Not sure how your new oven works? Using a slow cooker for the first time? It may be boring but read the instructions first! 55% of 18-24 year old deaths in fires occur through a misuse of appliances — don’t just wing it. Be careful to not overload plugs with your appliances either, in or out of the kitchen.

Now we’re cooking

Careless handling of hot substances is a huge contributor of deaths by fire. We’d suggest you take extra care handling hot oil, boiling pans or hot liquids. If a fire with oil does occur – never extinguish it with water. Never cook when under the influence, that’s why takeaways were invented.

Remember, remember

Having a relaxing bath with a candle or burning some incense? Don’t wander into another room and forget about them. Unattended candles have been the cause of 1500 injuries in 18-24 year olds over the last five years — and make sure to keep them away from curtains or other flammable material. Additionally, don’t overload extension adaptors with more adaptors, and devices that draw a lot of power like hairdryers or kettles. And don’t leave mobile phones charging on your bed either. Safety first, otherwise you’re really at risk.

Have a get out

When you move into a new place, make sure you know the quickest means of escape in the event of a fire, and a back-up route. Keep this area clear of boxes, suitcases or other objects that could be a trip hazard if you needed to leave in a rush.

In case of an emergency

We sincerely hope you are kept safe, but if a fire ever was to start: get out, stay out and phone 999.

If you live in halls, make sure you know their health and safety rules and ask if you’re unsure. Moving into your own flat? Your safety is largely your own responsibility so be smart and take care.

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