Each year college and university students, on - and off-campus, experience hundreds of fire-related emergencies nationwide. Fire on college campuses happen for several reasons, including cooking and intentionally set fires. Overall, most college-related fires are due to a general lack of knowledge regarding fire safety and prevention. According to information compiled by “Campus Firewatch,” the majority of student fire deaths occur in off-campus housing with problems such as insufficient exits, inoperative smoke alarms, or nonexistent fire sprinkler systems. Also, the use of candles, careless smoking habits, and the misuse of alcohol, which impairs judgment, contributes to student fire deaths.
Many of these students are away from home for the first time and the last fire safety training they received was in grade school; but, with new independence comes new responsibilities. Both off-campus and on-campus students need to understand the importance of fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives.
SAFETY TIPS FOR STUDENTS
• Do not leave candles unattended.
• Keep candles away from flammable items such as draperies and linens.
• If you smoke, smoke outside.
• Make sure cigarettes and ashes are completely extinguished. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
• Be alert - don’t smoke in bed!
• Cook only where it is permitted.
• Keep your cooking area clean and uncluttered.
• If you use electric appliances, don’t overload circuits.
• Never leave cooking unattended.
• If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.
• If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.
• Before opening a door, feel the door. If it’s hot, use your second way out.
• Use the stairs; never use an elevator during a fire.
• If you’re trapped, call the fire department and tell them where you are. Seal your door with rags and signal from your window.
• If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.