Did you know that 4 out of 5 campus fire deaths happen off campus where most students live? September is recognized as National Campus Fire Safety Month and it's important to educate students about fire safety no matter where they live.
Since Campus Firewatch began collecting statistics in January 2000, 86 percent of the campus-related fire fatalities in the US occurred in off-campus housing. Five common factors in a number of these fires include:
- Lack of automatic fire sprinklers.
- Missing or disabled smoke alarms.
- Careless disposal of smoking materials.
- Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption.
- Fire originating on upholstered furniture on decks or porches.
There has been a decrease in campus fire-related deaths over the years, much of which can be attributed to improved fire codes, fire protection systems like alarms and sprinklers, as well as public education.
We have a few simple tips for students to keep in mind:
- Know two ways out, no matter where you are.
- Don't overload outlets & extension cords.
- Don't leave candles unattended.
- Smoke alarms save lives. Don't remove the battery, the alarm, or tamper with the alarm.
- If you smoke make sure your cigarette is out, and never discard them in mulch.
- Kitchen fires are the #1 leading cause of home fires. Don't leave the kitchen unattended when cooking.
If you are interested in a presentation on campus fire safety contact Mary.Messerley@harrisonburgva.gov or call the Fire Chief's Office at 540-432-7703.
For more information or resources about campus fire safety, please visit www.campus-firewatch.com