Keeping your student digs fire safe

On Student Fire Safety Week (26 September – 2 October), Avon Fire & Rescue Service are welcoming students to their new accommodation with a gentle reminder to stay alert to fire hazards.

Many young people are living away from home for the first time, either in rented property or halls of residence, with new responsibilities when it comes to fire prevention and awareness.

Home Office fire statistics show that 66% of the 160-plus fires attended by fire and rescue services at student halls of residence in 2019/20 were started by cooking appliances.

Risk Reduction Area Manager Steve Quinton, said: “When living away from home, it’s important to recognise new fire hazards, and take precautions to reduce your risk.

“The majority of fires we attend at student accommodation start in the kitchen, often when someone has become distracted. We’re asking students to make sure they don’t leave cooking unattended and take extra care if cooking with oil.

“If you’ve been drinking, we’d advise to give cooking a miss and end your night out with the arrival of a takeaway rather than a fire engine.”

We're urging students to follow our top fire safety tips:


  • Test fire alarms regularly.
  • Keep your student digs smelling fresh with a fragrance spray or reed diffusers rather than candles.
  • When the fire alarm sounds, react quickly and evacuate safely.
  • Ask for advice when unsure about cooking.
  • Give cooking your full attention.


  • Never light candles or have open flames in your student housing.
  • Never cover smoke alarms.
  • Don’t ignore fire alarms.
  • Don’t try and cook without a clue, use cook books and ask others instead.
  • Avoid distractions while cooking, and never leave cooking unattended.
  • For more student fire safety tips, visit our website.