Fire safety is often overlooked by post-secondary students

Parents of college- and university-bound kids often worry about the new responsibilities and freedoms that their offspring will face. In addition to checking items off the back-to-school shopping list, it's important for parents to share valuable information and advice about everything from financial management to drinking responsibly. There are other important lessons that can be easily overlooked in the excitement of the big move.

“Whether returning to school or leaving home for the first time, a discussion about good fire safety practices can help to ensure this exciting time in a student's life is not marred by a fire tragedy,” says Fire Chief Rob Simonds, president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC).

“When it comes to fire safety, knowledge is power, which is why parents should talk to their kids about fire safety,” said Victoria Maybee, spokesperson for Duracell. “Fire safety is something all Canadians, including young adults, should take seriously and we want to help spread the word.”

Living Safely 101:

According to the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council here is what every student should know to prevent fire:

  1. Your room or apartment must have working smoke alarms. Test them monthly and notify the landlord immediately if not working.
  2. Replace dead batteries right away.
  3. Be equipped with a smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm, flashlight, radio and extra batteries.
  4. Look while you cook. Never leave grease fires unattended. If a pot catches fire, put a lid over it and turn off the stove.
  5. Keep an eye on excessive drinkers. Alcohol is a common factor in many fire fatalities involving cooking and smoking.
  6. Clear the clutter. Keep things that burn away from heat sources like stove tops, space heaters and electronic equipment.
  7. Plan to escape. Know two ways out of your room or apartment in case of fire.
  8. Consider flameless battery operated candles.
  9. Establish rules for smokers. Smoke outside.
  10. Do not overload electrical outlets and use only approved power bars for extension cords.

More fire safety resources and tips are available online at or