Hundreds of Staffordshire University students are receiving a different kind of education from firefighters keen for them to learn in a safe and secure environment.
To coincide with Student Safety Week (October 12 – 16) officers from Hanley Fire Station have been visiting the University’s Halls of Residence in Stoke to raise fire safety awareness among undergraduates.
Designed to reduce the risk of injury and potential damage to property, Jim Taffe, a member of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Risk Reduction Team, said the discussions are valuable for getting key messages to a key audience.
"It is a very productive and worthwhile partnership which benefits hundreds of students."
Jim Taffe, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Risk Reduction Team,
“The main concerns for a lot of these young people, many of whom are living away from home for the first time, are cooking, smoking, candles and electrical safety, particularly overloading and unplugging systems,” he said.
“We also talk to them about the dangers of messing with extinguishers and the often malicious breaking of glass alarm points – which not only causes disruption but wastes the time of the Fire Service.”
Talks between firefighters and the University began last month with key issues like alcohol awareness, drugs and personal safety being discussed during informal group sessions held n the Student Union bar and campus library.
Mr Taffe added: “The students I have spoken to have been very receptive, especially when viewing some of the pictures we use from incidents we have dealt with showing the main causes of fire in domestic properties.
“The University works very well with its partners to ensure the safety of their students and this is reflected by campaigns such as this.”
Joanne Grand, Administration Assistant with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire service has established a productive working relationship with the University.
“Since fire safety talks with students first began around five years ago we have worked closely with Staffordshire University on a number of occasions, covering a range of issues.