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
- Are working smoke alarms installed? (Preferably in each bedroom, interconnected to sound all if any one detects smoke)
- Are there at least two ways to exit your bedroom and your building?
- Do the upper floors of the building have at least two interior stairs, or a fire escape?
- Is a sprinkler system installed and maintained?
- 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?
- Are there EXIT signs in the building hallways to indicate accessible escape routes?
- Does the building have a fire alarm system installed and maintained?
- Has the buildings heating system been inspected recently (in the last year)?
- Is the building address clearly posted to allow emergency services to find you quickly in the event of an emergency?
- Does the sprinkler system or fire alarm system send a signal to the local fire department and/or campus security?
Fire Safety Tips
- 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 »
- 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 »
- 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 »