New and returning students to the University of the West of Scotland have been called on to take care in their term time homes and check out Electrical Safety First’s ‘Dear Student’ campaign.
This campaign comes as hundreds of thousands of students – many for the first time away from home – move into their term time accommodation and as new figures show that the number of house fires and the number of fire fatalities are at a record low.
Latest figures show that the number of house fires have fallen 23% from 6,963 in 2006-07 to 5,330 in 2013-14 – the lowest annual number since 1990. The number of fatalities as a result of house fires has also fallen by 28% from 46 in 2006-07 to 33 in 2013-14 – the lowest annual number since 1990. The highest proportion of fires are caused by the misuse of electrical equipment or faulty leads and appliances.
Commenting, George said:
“These new figures show that Scotland is making good progress in reducing the number of house fires and, importantly, the number of people who are killed as a result of fires. Our Fire and Rescue Service in particular deserve our gratitude for the hard work they do every day to keep people safe. Local fire fighters often tell me of an increased focus on prevention and it really seems to be working. Local fire fighters will now come to your house and provide you with all the information you need to prevent house fires from occurring. Only a few weeks ago, I was handed a leaflet by a local fire officer outside a supermarket giving me information on how to arrange a home visit.
“However, we can never be complacent and we should all take the simple steps required to keep our homes safe – including installing smoke alarms and ensuring our electrical equipment remains safe.
“Over the next few weeks thousands of young people across Scotland, many for the first time, will leave home to live in rented accommodation and it is important that we ensure they are aware of the risk of fire from electrical equipment. Landlords must, and do, take a number of steps to ensure the safety of their tenants but tenants themselves must be aware of the risks and the steps they should take to mitigate them.
“I want all new and returning students our town’s university campus having fun and enjoy their studies and what Paisley has to offer. But they shouldn’t forget to check out the Electrical Safety First student safety campaign and download their free smartphone app.”
Phil Buckle, Director of Electrical Safety First, added:
“We are delighted that the number of fires in Scottish homes has decreased. But we cannot be smug – around two thirds of all domestic fires in Scotland are caused by electricity, with particular concerns arising from a lack of safety in student’s privately rented accommodation.