September Is National Campus Fire Safety Month
Campus fire safety is a serious concern. According to the non-profit Center for Campus Fire Safety, 75 people were killed in fires set to college student residencies (both on- and off-campus) from January 2000 through April 2005. Many more individuals were injured by these fires.
More than 75 percent of the above-listed deaths occurred in off-campus residencies, such as rented houses and apartments, where the majority of U.S. college students live. Common factors in many of these fatal fires included:
— A lack of automatic fire sprinkler systems.
— Missing or disabled smoke alarms.
— Careless disposal of smoking materials.
— Alcohol consumption.
Below are some helpful hints related to fire safety.
Self-inspection checklist to help prevent fires
— Are smoke detectors in place? A minimum of one smoke detector should be located adjacent to each sleeping area.
— Do smoke detectors work? Smoke detectors with test button features should be tested monthly. "Chirping" indicates a low battery.
— Do you know a second way out? Have you made a plan?
— Are hallways and stairways clear and unobstructed?
— Do sleeping room windows open completely? This may be a method of escape.
— Do window bars release from the inside?
— Do all doors leading to the outside open fully with little effort?
— If fire extinguishers are present, do you know where they are located?
— Are the fire extinguishers substantially charged?
— In multi-unit apartment buildings, are the fire alarms visible?
— Are electrical outlets overloaded?
— Are combustibles kept a safe distance from heat sources, such as water heaters?
— Are candles and incense in non-combustible, secure holders? Never leave lighted candles or incense unattended. (Lit candles are not permitted in CUA residence halls.)
Tips for self-preservation
— Take all fire alarms seriously, and get out of the building if one sounds.
— If you become aware of a fire or hear a fire alarm, leave the building immediately. Do not stop.
— Feel door handles. If they are warm, do not open them. Find another way out of your room. If you can’t get out, signal for help.
— Close doors behind you.
— Stay low in smoke where there is cleaner and cooler air.
— Always use closest exit or stairway; never use elevators.
— If you pass a fire alarm on your way out, pull it.
— Once outside, never go back. Call 911. On the CUA campus, call x5111.
— If your clothes are on fire, stop, drop and roll.
— Cool burns quickly with water and seek medical attention.
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