The fire brigade checked forty student houses in Kralingen on the 10th of November to test whether they are fire-resistant. The results show that there is a major difference between houses owned by private landlords and those owned by housing corporations.

Lucie Berning, who visited these student houses to check their safety measures, says the differences are quite large: ‘Houses owned by corporations are generally better equipped with fire prevention materials. Houses owned by private landlords are often messier and less well-kept.’ According to Berning, student houses owned by private landlords are generally less safe than houses owned by corporations.”

What to do with a fire distinguisher?

Berning also mentions that students are badly informed: ‘They don’t know how the fire distinguisher works or how they have to maintain the fire prevention materials. Smoke detectors don’t work or are hung in places where they shouldn’t be.’

The exact results of the test will be published at the end of December, and will lead to a plan to improve the safety in student houses.

Future plans

With this test, the fire brigade wants to set the foundation for more fire prevention aimed at students in 2012. Berning: ‘Our goal is to approach students and inform them about fire hazards. In this manner we aim to improve the overall safety of student houses. If we make students aware of fire prevention now, they can pass this on to other people in the future, such as new flat mates and at a later stage to their partners or their children.’ IS