North Kent College students will get to see first-hand how quickly a fire can start during a live chip pan fire demonstrations at the two campuses next week.
Firefighters will be at the Gravesend Campus in Lower Highham Road on Tuesday, (22 September) and at the Dartford Campus in Oakfield Lane on Thursday, (24 September) between 12 noon and 2pm.
Each year on and off campus, college and university students experience a number of fire-related incidents. Recently Kent Fire and Rescue Service's (KFRS) crews were called to fires sparked by food that was left cooking for too long in a microwave and after a plastic chopping board was left on a hob.
Dartford Crew Manager, Jody Morgan, said: "Many students will be living away from home for the first time or are returning to start a new year in college or university and living in new or unfamiliar surroundings. Often this move is their first experience of living independently, with many students moving into halls, houses or flats it’s essential they understand how easily fires can start and how quickly they can spread."
Jody added: "It’s vital the students know how important it is to keep cooking areas clean and uncluttered to prevent a kitchen fire. Overheated oil in chip pans, dirty ovens and grill pans can all cause fires. It’s also very easy to get distracted while cooking – the doorbell can go, the phone rings or we leave the room to do something else while food is cooking sparking a blaze."
Many cooking fires start after a night out, so KFRS suggests getting a takeaway on the way home or leaving a cold snack prepared in the fridge to eat when you get home – it’s a much safer option than cooking when tired or if you have been drinking alcohol.
Jody ended: "It's not just cooking that poses a fire risk to students. Laptops and mobile phones should be switched off if they are left on surfaces like beds or chairs that could catch fire. Batteries can get very hot so it’s best to store them unplugged on a desk clear from paper and other potential fire hazards.
"Most importantly make sure you know your building’s evacuation plan and practice all drills as if they were the real thing. If the smoke or fire alarms sound, get out of the building quickly and stay out."
Lindsey O’Malley, Assistant Principal at North Kent College said: "The safety of all our students is of utmost importance to the College. It’s vital that they understand fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives.
"We are grateful to KFRS for bringing these potentially life-saving messages to our students. It will hopefully help keep them safe now and in the future."
Note to editors:
Journalists and photographers are welcome to attend the demonstrations between 12 noon and 2pm on:
Tuesday 22 September at the Gravesend Campus in Lower Higham Road, Gravesend or
Thursday 24 September at the Dartford Campus in Oakfield Lane