The great majority of students at university regularly engage in activities that create a risk of fire in university halls or other forms of student accommodation, according to public insurance company Zurich Municipal, which has based its conclusions on research taken from a student panel via the National Union of Students Research Services.

As many as sixty six percent of students cook after midnight, and fifty percent have done so after having drunk alcohol. However an alarming number – as many as thirty three percent – of all students are completely unaware of the fire safety procedures that should be in place in all forms of rental accommodation as well as student halls. Despite the alarming figures, seventy five percent of students still believe themselves to be basically sensible.

Risky business

Nonetheless, Department of Communities and Local Government figures show that fires are only too common an occurrence within student halls of residence, with hundreds of reported incidences. Cooking appliances being wrongly used were the cause of more than half of the incidents, with chip pan and deep fat fryer use being the second most common cause of fires, followed by faulty leads and appliances.

Although it is good news that just a tiny six percent of students now smoke in their rooms on a regular basis, fire safety is compromised by a number of other dangerous activities, including drying clothes over a heater or radiator, and burning incense or candles, with many of these activities taking place in a room that also contains stored alcohol. Female students are actually the most likely to be at risk of causing a fire.