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Campus Fire Safety

The following information on campus fire safety was obtained from the U. S. Fire Administration FEMA and the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District suggests its contents are valuable for anyone attending a college or university.

Each year college and university students, on- and off-campus, experience hundreds of fire-related emergencies nationwide. There are several specific causes for fires on college campuses: cooking, intentionally set fires, and open flame. Overall, most deaths occur in off-campus housing with insufficient exits and missing or inoperative smoke alarms and automatic fire sprinklers. Improper use of candles, careless smoking, and the misuse of alcohol which impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts, all contribute to on- and off-campus housing fire deaths.

For most new and returning college and university students, the last fire safety training they received was in grade school. New independence comes with new responsibilities and it is important to understand fire risks and to know preventative measures that could save lives. Four common factors in college student fatalities are lack of automatic fire sprinklers, missing or disabled smoke alarms, careless disposal of smoking materials, and impaired judgment from alcohol consumption.

Many factors contribute to dormitory housing fires. Improper use of 9-1-1 notification systems delays emergency response. Student apathy is prevalent. Many are unaware of the risk or threat of fire. Evacuation procedures are hindered since fire alarms are often ignored. Building evacuations are delayed due to lack of preparation and preplanning. Vandalized and improperly maintained smoke alarm and fire alarm systems inhibit early fire detection. Misuse of cooking appliances and overloading electrical circuits and extension cords increase the risk of fire.

Learn the facts about campus fire safety and be fire aware!

Safety Tips for Students

  • Candles Keep candles away from curtains and linens, burn candles in fire safe containers, and do not leave lighted candles unattended.

  • Cooking Cook only where permitted, keep cooking areas clean and uncluttered, and never leave cooking unattended. If electric cooking appliances are used, never overload circuits. If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.

  • Smoking If you must smoke, smoke only outdoors or use deep, wide, sturdy, fire safe ashtrays placed on a sturdy surface and soak contents before emptying the ashtray. NEVER smoke in bed. It is risky to smoke after drinking or when drowsy. After a party, check cushions and furniture for smoldering smoking material.

  • Escape Planning Take notice of exits and escape routes. If you must escape through smoke, stay as low as possible and stay under the smoke to your exit. Before opening a door, feel it for heat. If it is hot, use a second way out. Use the stairs to escape; NEVER an elevator. If you are trapped, call 9-1-1 and tell them exactly where you are. Use towels, rags, clothing, or other linens to seal your door and signal from your window. Open windows slightly at the top and bottom but shut them if smoke rushes in from any direction. If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building. NEVER return into a burning area for any reason.

For more information on this or any other fire prevention issue, contact the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Prevention Bureau at 630-353-3030 or visit our website at www.lwfd.org .

 
 
 
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Last Updated  August 12, 2016
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