September: Campus Fire Safety Month
According to the National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”), “From 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 4,100 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and other related properties. These fires caused annual averages of 35 civilian injuries and $14 million in direct property damage.” Given this information, Restore Construction, Inc. believes it is important you ensure your loved ones who just returned to college are living in secure, fire-safe environments. We recommend following the below safety tips to do so.
- Regardless of the housing facility (dormitory (“dorm”), sorority, fraternity, or off-campus apartment or house) the student chooses, be sure the facility is fully sprinklered.
- If the student chose to live in a dorm, it is important that he or she ensures the building alarm system can be heard while in the dorm room.
- All dorm rooms should have smoke alarms. Interconnected smoke alarms in dorm suites are recommended.
- Off-campus apartments and houses should have smoke alarms installed in and outside of every sleeping room and on each floor. Again, we suggest interconnected smoke alarms as they offer the most protection.
- You should instruct the student to test the smoke alarms monthly and impress upon them the significance of not tampering with the alarms for any reason.
- The student should learn the building’s evacuation plan. If he or she lives off campus, a fire escape plan should be developed; it is important to remember that said plan should include two ways out of every room.
- The student should understand how important it is to remain in the kitchen when cooking, especially given the NFPA’s research that indicated roughly 6 out of 7 fires in dorms are started by cooking.
- If candles are permitted in the dorm, students should never leave one unattended and should not place the candle near anything flammable. Battery-operated flameless candles present a much safer option.
- When using a computer, the student should use a surge protector and plug it directly into an outlet.
- If the student decides to use a space heater during the colder months, ensure the space heater has been tested and is certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, is kept on a surface that is hard, level and nonflammable, and is at least three feet from anything that can burn.
Source: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
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