Student Living Safety Tips for this Semester’s Post-Secondary Tenants

Labour Day is fast approaching and CSA Group, a leading standards development organization, and global provider of testing and certification services, is offering some important safety tips for college and university students moving out on their own.

When leaving for university it’s tempting to bring the conveniences of home with you. Dorm rooms may not be designed for the mini-kitchen you want, so before you arrive it’s important to check with your school to see what you can bring and what needs to stay at home. Remember that helping to ensure the safety of any electrical items you do bring could save your life as well as those of your classmates.

“Starting a new school year and moving away from home is exciting,” says Allison Hawkins, Manager, Corporate Affairs. “But certain appliances may be dangerous if not used carefully or correctly especially in confined areas next to others.”

CSA Group offers the following tips to make your dorm room or residence a safer home away from home:

  • What can I bring? Some residences don’t allow cooking devices or appliances to be used in your dorm room. Check the rules at your school to make sure the items you plan to have in your room are permitted.
  • Look for a recognized name and certification mark: Be careful when trying to save money shopping at discount stores. When a product or packaging doesn’t include a brand identifier, trademark, or company address, 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.
  • Get alarmed: 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.
  • Follow instructions: 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 get overloaded: 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.
  • Heat it up – safely: Space heaters are a great way to heat a chilly room, but are not meant to dry clothes, heat food or warm your bed. Misuse can lead to serious injuries, fatalities or fires. Place the heater where it cannot be knocked over, at least 1 metre from furniture and flammable materials such as curtains, bedding and paper. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and look for a certification mark from an accredited organization, such as CSA Group.
  • Check with the experts: To confirm CSA Group certification of a product, compare the product’s identification against the certification record in the Certified Product Listing.

For more everyday consumer tips, safety tip videos and safety advice, please visit www.csagroup.org.

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]


September 3, 2015