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Prepare your student house

EHBJ Studentenhuis

Fire, long-term power cuts, or extreme weather: probably not the things you enjoy thinking about. But even in your student house, such emergencies can occur. Do you know what to do when that happens? These tips will help you prepare!

Draft an emergency plan for your student house

Who do you call when there is an emergency and where do you go? What’s in an emergency package? It’s important to think about these kind of things. And to discuss this with your housemates. The next step is to draft an emergency plan. That way, everyone knows what to do during an emergency.

Fill in the emergency plan together with your housemates. Afterwards, hang the plan somewhere everyone can see it. Also, email it to all the housemates.

Download the emergency plan

Fire

Fire prevention

  • Want to charge your phone or laptop? It’s safest to do so during the day. Really need to charge it overnight? Put the device on a hard surface and NOT on your bed.
  • Do you smoke? You shouldn’t (in your bed). Put out your cigarettes in an ash tray. If you put them out in a planter, it might cause smoke or fire. Empty your ash tray once the cigarettes are out, or put them out in water.
  • Cooking, (air)frying or making a grilled cheese sandwich? Take the plug out once you’re done with your (midnight) snack.
  • Drying your laundry? Keep it away from any heaters.

Prepare yourself for fire emergencies

  • Smoke alarms: put them in all rooms and all escape routes, for example in the hallways or near stairways. Are there no smoke alarms in your home? Discuss this with your landlord.
  • Fire extinguisher and fire blanket: it’s smart to have one on each floor. If your student house has more than five rooms, it’s mandatory. Discuss this with your landlord.
  • Escape routes: keep them clutter free and make sure you can open the doors in your escape route quick and easy.
  • Doors: keep the doors of the separate rooms shut. Smoke will spread much slower if you do.

There’s a fire! What should I do?

  • Stay low (close to the ground) and try to get outside. Close any doors behind you.
  • Roommates? Alert them and help them if possible.
  • Call 112 and tell them where you are.
  • Never go back into a burning building.
  • Can’t get out? Find the room with the least amount of smoke, close the door and cover any cracks. Alert your roommates, stay low to the ground, call 112 and try to wave near windows.
More on fire

Hack

Hack prevention

  • Never click on a link without a thought. Always check the sender’s email address, the greeting, and spelling.
  • Payment requests? If you do not trust them, give the sender a call.
  • Keep your log ins to yourself, use diverse and strong passwords. You can also use a password manager and two-step verification methods.
  • Enable automatic updates on your phone, laptop or tablet.
  • Install antivirus software on your laptop or computer.
  • Make regular backups on external hard drives (which is also very convenient in case of theft).
  • Only connect to trusted and secure WiFi networks.

Have you been hacked?

  • If you can still log into your account: change your password immediately. Check any settings and data. If they have changed, change them back.
  • Can’t log in? Inform anyone involved (for example email contacts) and contact your provider.
  • Check your laptop for viruses, malware and keyloggers.

Outages of gas, power and water

During extended power cuts you can’t charge your phone or laptop, your freezer and refrigerator lose power, there’s no more (hot) water, the heater doesn’t work, internet and the phone network are down, and the ATMs aren’t working. These are just some examples of what can happen during power cuts. That’s why it’s best to take some precautions:

  • Check what’s needed for an emergency kit and consider what’s important to you to have in stock at home. Consider buying a flashlight, power bank, cash, tea lights, matches, bottled water and food.
  • If there’s no more tap water, it’s smart to stock up on bottles of water. 3 Liters per person per day is a reasonable guideline for this.
  • Check if your phone is set up to receive NL-Alert emergency broadcasts, so you can receive notifications when there’s an emergency.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas. You can’t see, smell or taste it. It is produced during incomplete combustion, for example because of broken or bad heaters or boilers. Symptoms are often described as headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, elevated heart rates and confusion. It can also result in loss of consciousness or even death.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning

  • Make sure your landlord has the boiler or heater checked annually by a professional installer. A sticker on the appliance shows when the last check has been.
  • Ventilate your room.
  • Detectors can warn you when the carbon monoxide levels in your room or house are too high.
  • When the alarm goes off: warn your roommates, go outside and call 112.

Extreme weather

Heavy rain, (thunder) storms, heavy snow, icy winds or heat waves are becoming more common in The Netherlands, because of climate change. What can you do to prepare yourself for this?

  • Check what’s needed for an emergency kit and consider what’s important to you to have in stock at home. Consider buying a flashlight, power bank, cash, tea lights, lucifers, bottles of water and food.
  • Keep an eye on the weather report when the KNMI (Dutch weather institute) declares a ‘Code Red’. When there’s a thunderstorm, pull the plugs of appliances.
  • Check if your phone is set up to receive NL-Alert emergency broadcasts, so you can receive notifications when there’s an emergency.
  • Are you at home? Stay inside: that’s the safest option. If possible, offer shelter to people that need it.
  • Do you really have to go out? Let others know where you are going, and which route you are taking.
  • Heat wave? Drink at least 2L water per day.
  • Life threatening situation? Call 112.