Whether you or your college bound family member will be living in a dorm room or in a student apartment, fire safety is something that just can not be over looked. Having personally spent my college years living in a dorm room, I unfortunately saw the danger and damage that even a small fire could cause. Lucky for the residents and dorm staff, no one was hurt. With that being said, take a few minutes to read and discuss the fire safety facts and suggestions below. Any one of these could ultimately help you or your loved one make a few smart choices that could save their lives.
The fire facts listed below are the top three facts with respect to college dormitories. These facts and more are easily found on the U.S. Fire Administration site.
1. College dorm fires are most common during evening hours and the weekends. In particular, fires are most prevalent between the hours of 5 pm and 11 pm.
2. Cooking equipment accounts for about 75% of all fires. Needless to say, the fires started either in the kitchen or in a designated cooking area.
3. An average of 2 civilian deaths, 30 civilian injuries and $9 million in direct property damages occur every year due to college dorm fires.
Fire Safety Precautions
Take a few minutes and seriously consider the precautions and recommendations listed below. Some of the precautions and suggestions may seem elementary, but if any one of these helps to save your life, it was worth its weight in gold.
1. Look for dorm rooms and buildings with sprinkler systems.
2. Make sure that you will be able to hear the buildings fire alarm when inside your dorm room.
3. Make sure that your dorm room or student apartment is equipped with smoke detectors in all sleeping areas.
4. All smoke detectors should be equipped with batteries. Make sure that the batteries are not removed from the detector in your sleeping area.
5. Read and learn your buildings evacuation plan. If possible, practice the evacuation plan. In the event of a real emergency, you'll be ready.
6. Check your schools rules before you use any kind of electrical cooking equipment in your dorm room.
7. If your going to do any kind of cooking in your room, be sure to do so only when your not sleepy from studying, medicine or alcohol.
8. When the fire alarm goes off, do not worry about your belongings and get yourself out. Be sure to stay out until the all clear signal is sounded.
9. If the fire occurs in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.
10. If you are burning candles in your room, keep them in a sturdy holder and away from anything that could catch on fire as well.
11. After a party in your room, check around for cigarette butts. Be sure to check under cushions as well. Chairs and sofa cushions burn easily and rapidly.
12. Light bulbs get very hot to the touch. It is a best practice to keep lamps away from anything like curtains that could catch fire.
13. Do not overload your electrical outlets. Always use a surge protecting power strip with an internal overload protection system in it.
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