Fire safety encouraged for post-secondary students

Students heading back to university and college are being urged to protect themselves from fire.

Students heading back to university and college are being urged to protect themselves from fire.

Every year in B.C., young adults experience fire-related emergencies due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention.

“The fact that smoker’s materials, cooking, candles and electrical short circuits are still the major causes of residential fires in the province stresses the necessity that students understand the importance of day to day fire safety,” said Lawrie Skolrood, Vernon deputy fire chief.

Here are some fire safety tips from the B.C. Office of the Fire Commissioner:

Cooking

• A stovetop fire can start in a flash, so stay in the kitchen when something is cooking on the stove or in the microwave.

• Keep all combustible items a safe distance away from the stove. This includes tea towels, wooden or plastic spoons and paper towels.

• Keep a pot lid near the stove to smother flames if a fire starts in a pot.

Social Gatherings

• The more people attending the party, the easier it is to lose control of the situation.

• Consider putting up no smoking signs that direct guests to an outside smoking area.

• Refrain from burning candles during parties. They can easily be knocked over or ignite nearby combustibles unnoticed.

• In the case of a fire alarm, insure that everyone leaves the building immediately and does not re-enter it until safe to do so.

Electrical Equipment

• Use a ULC-listed power bar with a circuit breaker and surge protector to plug in computer and stereo equipment.

• Make sure electrical cords are not concealed under carpets or rugs where they can be easily damaged.

Smoke Alarms

• The responsibility for smoke alarm installation and maintenance lies with the homeowner or landlord, however it is a good idea for parents to provide their child with a smoke alarm for his or her bedroom.

• It is against the law for anyone to disable or tamper with a smoke alarm.

Fire Escape Planning

• Know two ways out of every room, if possible. The first way out would be the door while the alternate escape could be a window that can be exited safely. Make sure all designated escape routes are accessible and free of clutter.

• Leave the building as quickly as possible. Once outside, don’t re-enter the building for any reason.

• Call 911 from outside the building using a cell phone or neighbour’s phone.