Fire Safety

Fire Prevention and Safety for Off Campus Students

According to the US Fire Administration – FEMA, each year college and university students, on and off campus, experience hundreds of fire-related emergencies nationwide. There are several specific causes for fires on college campuses, including cooking, intentionally set fires, overloaded power strips and open flame. Overall, most college-related fires are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. It is important that both off-campus and on-campus students understand fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives.

Good Questions to Ask Before Moving in or Signing a Lease

  1. Are working smoke alarms installed? (Preferably in each bedroom, interconnected to sound all if any one detects smoke)
  2. Are there at least two ways to exit your bedroom and your building?
  3. Do the upper floors of the building have at least two interior stairs, or a fire escape?
  4. Is a sprinkler system installed and maintained?
  5. Are the existing electrical outlets adequate for all of the appliances, computers, printers and electronics that you are bringing – without the need for extension cords?
  6. Are there EXIT signs in the building hallways to indicate accessible escape routes?
  7. Does the building have a fire alarm system installed and maintained?
  8. Has the buildings heating system been inspected recently (in the last year)?
  9. Is the building address clearly posted to allow emergency services to find you quickly in the event of an emergency?
  10. Does the sprinkler system or fire alarm system send a signal to the local fire department and/or campus security?

Download the Home Fire Safety Checklist

Fire Safety Tips

Candles

  • Make sure candles are in sturdy holders and put out after each use.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Keep candles away from draperies and linens.
  • Use flameless candles which are both safe and attractive.
  • Learn About Candle Safety »

Cooking

  • Cook only where it is permitted.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and uncluttered.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.
  • Learn About Cooking Fire Safety »

Smoking

  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Use deep, wide ashtrays. Place ashtrays on something sturdy and hard to ignite.
  • After a party, check for cigarette butts, especially under cushions. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast.
  • It is risky to smoke when you have been drinking or are drowsy.
  • Learn About Smoking Safety »

Source: Campus-Firewatch

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are approximately 18,000,000 students enrolled in 4,100 colleges and universities across the country. Since the 2000 academic year, 86% of the campus-related fire fatalities have occurred in off-campus housing where approximately two-thirds of students live.

There are five common factors in a number of these fires:

  • Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
  • Missing or disabled smoke alarms
  • Careless disposal of smoking materials
  • Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption
  • Upholstered furniture fires on decks and porches

Escape Planning

  • Get low and go under the smoke to escape to your safe exit.
  • Feel the door. If it's hot, use your second way out.
  • Use the stairs; never use an elevator during a fire.
  • Practice your escape plan. Always have two ways out.

Learn About Escape Planning »