College Campus Fire Protection Tips

By: Tom Hartel
College is where young people are living away from home for the first time. So, college campus fire protection is not always on kids minds. According to a study done by the U.S. Fire Administration, fatal fires in on-campus dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and off-campus housing were mostly caused by smoking. Of course, there are other reasons for fire on campus, so keep in mind a few college campus fire protection tips, and your chances will decrease.

Things to Look for When Choosing Housing

When it comes time to choose your college housing, there are a few key college campus fire protection tips to make sure you and your roommates are protected in the event of a fire. First, make sure your room or apartment has all the necessary equipment. Look for housing with a sprinkler system either on or off-campus. A whole building alarm system should also be a requirement, so you are warned if a fire happens somewhere in the building. Make sure you can hear them from where you are staying.

Smoke alarms should be in all the living areas, including bedrooms. Remember to test them monthly. Also, do not take the batteries out or disable the alarm. The U.S. Fire Administration also determined that in 58% of the fatal college fires they studied, the smoke alarms were tampered with, or there were no smoke alarms.

Another college campus fire protection tip we can give you is to ask about emergency escape routes if you live in on-campus housing. There should be periodic fire drills to practice these routes but make sure you know what to do in an emergency. If you are living on or off-campus housing, you should still have a plan. The majority of college fire-related deaths occur off-campus.

Be Careful!

Smoking is involved in a large percentage of campus fires. Only smoke in permitted areas wherever you are housed on campus. If you are allowed to smoke in your apartment, make sure the ashes are completely out and never throw a hot cigarette butt into the trash can. Use appropriate ashtrays that are wide enough and deep enough and place them on level surfaces that are not flammable. Do not smoke when you are drowsy and are likely to doze and drop your cigarette.

Many dormitories have college campus fire protection rules about where you can cook and what you can have in your dorm, and for good reason. There is a good reason not to have a microwave/toaster oven or other small kitchen appliances in your room, especially in such tight quarters. Dormitories will often have other options for you, including common areas and kitchens. If you can have a microwave, remember not to put anything metal in it and keep it clean. Keep an eye on what you are cooking, and do not leave the room.

While you are in a small space, outlets may be hard to come by, but you should never overload them. Use surge protectors with overload protection to lessen your risk of electrical fire. A mini-fridge is a staple in many college dorm rooms, but do not plug them into an extension cord.

A few other things to be aware of on college campuses are that alcohol was involved in 76 percent of fatal campus fires done in the same study by the U.S. Fire Administration, and most occurred on the weekend or in the evening. When you go to college parties, make sure you still use good judgment, especially around fire. Most on-campus housing will also have rules about burning candles. Place candles away from anything flammable. This may be hard to do in cramped campus housing so when in doubt don’t burn them. If your housing forbids candles, then it is for good reason.

College Campus Fire Protection

At Valley Fire Protection & Plumbing, we can help you with your college campus fire protection! We have certified professionals that can install and repair fire sprinkler systems with 24/7 emergency service. We also certify backflows annually!

Related Topics: Fire Protection
By: Tom Hartel
I acquired my expertise by directing day-to-day operations of the business for over 20 years. Continuous hard work helped me become a nationally recognized speaker and expert on fire protection, fire sprinklers, special hazards, and plumbing systems. In this blog, I share my knowledge that will hopefully help you make better decisions for your projects.

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