The beginning of a new school year means becoming familiar with new classes, homework, friends, and PARTIES! With such hectic lives, college students forget about the real danger of accidental fires. We would like to remind students to take action to protect themselves and their friends from fire.
In the past six years, 89 people have died as a result of on- and off-campus fires and hundreds more have been injured, according to the Center for Campus Fire Safety, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing campus-related fire issues. August and September are two of the deadliest months for these fires and almost 80% of the deaths take place in off-campus apartments or homes, which is where three-fourths of college students live. That’s one reason why September has been declared as Campus Fire Safety Month.
Many college students do not realize how quickly a fire can occur. Studies show, on average, a person has three minutes from when the first smoke alarm sounds to safely escape. Despite what they may think, college students are not invincible and must realize that fires do happen in campus-related settings. Fortunately, they can take some simple steps to protect themselves, no matter where they live.
9 easy things you can do to help prevent fires or injury from fires . . .
- Install UL-listed smoke alarms in every room of an apartment or rental home. Battery-powered wireless smoke alarms use radio frequency technology to link together so that when one alarm sounds, all of the alarms sound. This immediate response helps provide early warning no matter where the fire starts which, in turn, gives residents more time to escape.
- Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries as needed.
- Look for housing that is equipped with automatic fire sprinkler systems. Not every residence hall or rental property has them.
- Know two ways out of every building. Consider purchasing a fire escape ladder that quickly provides an alternate exit from second or third floor rooms.
- Properly dispose of smoking materials in ashtrays. After parties, check the cushions on couches and chairs for smoldering cigarettes.
- Purchase a learn how to use a fire extinguisher BEFORE a fire breaks out.
- Use UL-listed extension cords and electrical appliances properly. Don’t overload electrical outlets.
- If the residence has fossil-fuel burning appliances, such as a gas stove or furnace, install UL-listed carbon monoxide alarms on every floor and near sleeping areas.
- Never leave candles unattended and keep them away from items that could easily catch fire. Be sure to put out candles before going to bed.