GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) 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!