Moving Away for School? Study these Dorm Room Safety Tips

CSA Group Offers Advice for Students Heading Back to School

September is fast approaching and CSA Group, a leading standards development organization, and global provider of testing and certification services, has some important advice for college and university students heading out on their own.

When leaving for university you often want to bring the conveniences of home with you. Dorm rooms may not be designed for the mini-kitchen you want, so it’s important to check with your school to see what the rules are when it comes to electrical appliances, before you arrive. Remember that helping to ensure the safety of any electrical items you do bring could save your life.

“Leaving home for your own place is an exciting time for students,” says Allison Hawkins, Manager, Corporate Affairs. “We want everyone to have a fun at college and university, so CSA Group has offered a few suggestions to help make sure that new-found freedom includes safety.”

CSA Group offers the following tips for your new home away from home:

  • Check with your university before you bring the appliances: Some residences don’t allow cooking devices or appliances to be used in your dorm room. Check the rules to make sure the items you plan to have in your room are permitted.
  • Seek out a recognized name and certification mark: When a product doesn’t include a brand identifier or trademark, it may be a counterfeit which can lead to serious safety issues. Brand-name companies want you to know whose product you’re buying. Look for a certification mark on your electronics, to help ensure they’ve met applicable performance and safety standards.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm: Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, lethal gas and a carbon monoxide detector could save your life. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm and smoke detector installed in your room. Check for a certification mark to help ensure it’s been tested to the applicable standards for safety and performance.
  • Use your appliances safely: If you are using small appliances, like microwaves, coffee makers or hot plates in your dorm room, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t leave items unattended while in use and keep flammable materials away from cooking and heating devices.
  • Don’t overload electrical cords or outlets: When you’re short on outlets, it may be tempting to have your laptop, gaming system, sound system and microwave all plugged into one cord, but that can overload the circuit and potentially cause a fire. Make sure the extension cord is heavy enough for the intended load. If a cord or plug becomes hot when it is plugged in, it may be overloaded. Semi-permanent installations should not use extension cords.
  • Check with the experts: To confirm CSA Group certification of a product, compare the product’s identification against the certification record in theCertified Product Listing.

For more everyday consumer tips, safety tip videos and safety advice, please visit https://www.csagroup.org/us/en/consumers/safety-tips

About CSA Group

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.


Allison Hawkins
Manager, Corporate Affairs
CSA Group
[email protected]


August 27, 2014