While summer draws to a close and college students are preparing to return to school for the fall semester, it is important to be aware of fire-related emergencies that could occur. The number of these emergencies continues to grow and most are due to lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention.
The main causes of fire injuries on college campuses include cooking as well as carelessly smoking. Unfortunately, for most instances where fire fatalities occurred on a college campus, alcohol was a factor. In more than 50% of adult fire fatalities, victims were under the influence at the time of the fire. It is important to know the risks of any situation that you are in and to have a plan set in place, in case of an emergency.
What Causes Campus Fires?
Living in a dormitory, away from your parents for the first time, surrounded by your friends and classmates… What could go wrong?
• Student apathy is prevalent. Many students are unaware that fire is a risk or a threat in their environment.
• Evacuation efforts are hindered since fire alarms are often ignored.
• Building evacuations are delayed due to lack of preparation and preplanning.
• Vandalized and improperly maintained smoke alarms and fire alarm systems inhibit early detection of fires.
• Misuse of cooking appliances, overloaded electrical circuits and extension cords increase the risk of fires.
How to Stay Safe at School
• Teach students how to properly notify the fire department using the 911 systems.
• Install smoke alarms in every dormitory room and every level of housing facilities.
• Maintain and regularly test smoke alarms and fire alarm systems. Replace batteries every semester.
• Inspect exit doors and windows and make sure they are working properly.
• Create and update detailed floor plan of buildings, and make them available to emergency personnel, resident advisors and students.
• Conduct fire drills and practice escape routes and evacuations plans. Urge students to take each alarm seriously.
• Do not overload electrical outlets and make sure extension cords are used properly.
• Learn to properly use and maintain heating and cooking appliances.
Going back to school can be an exciting time, full of new challenges and experiences. We want to make sure that these experiences are positive ones and that our students are safe and prepared in case of emergencies. If you have any questions, as always, feel free to contact your friends at the Carbondale Fire District.