Many college-related fires result from a general lack of knowledge about fire safety. Since 2000, 86 fatal fires have occurred on U.S. college campuses, in Greek housing, or in off-campus housing within three miles of the campus.
According to the United States Fire Administration, more than 80% of campus fire fatalities occur in off-campus housing. This has a direct impact on the prevention, planning and response activities for fire and emergency services departments located near colleges and universities.
Important fire facts
- On average, ten students die annually in campus related fires, according to the Center for Campus Fire Safety.
- Four out of five campus-related fire deaths occur in off-campus housing where approximately two-thirds of our students live.
- Alcohol is a factor in many of these fire related deaths. Alcohol abuse impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts.
- An estimated 3,800 campus fires occur each year in the United States.
- Cooking causes more than two-thirds of fire injuries at college campuses, followed by careless smoking, arson, unattended candles, and the overloading of extension cords and power strips.
Here are some fire safety tips that could save your life
- Select a residence hall or off campus housing that has smoke alarms and fire sprinklers. These mitigation devices reduce the risk of dying in a fire by 82%.
- Cook only where permitted and never leave cooking unattended.
- Don’t smoke. But if you must, only smoke outside of the building.
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Never leave candles unattended, provide a one-foot circle of safety clear of anything that might come in contact with the candle like table clothes, curtains, or papers and put candles out after each use.
- Always have and practice an escape plan.
- Look for an alternate exit from every room whether at a party or in class.
- If you must escape through smoke, Get Low and Go under the smoke toward an exit.
By following these tips, injuries and even deaths will be prevented. Fire Is Everyone’s Fight ™ Where You Live!
Put A Lid On Cooking Fires – Fire Prevention Week October 6 – 12, 2013
October is Fire Prevention Month and “Prevent Kitchen Fires” is this year’s message. Cooking brings family and friends together, provides an outlet for creativity and can be relaxing. But did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking was a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires and 2/3 of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials on the stovetop.
Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires. Nearly half of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 across the country were scald burns.
By following a few safety tips, you can prevent these fires:
“Cook With Caution”
Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
If You Have A Cooking Fire…
Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 to alert the local fire department
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you have any questions about fire safety, please feel free to contact your local fire department.