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The Basics of College Fire Safety

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If a fire should occur…
  • Close the doors to stop the spread of fire.
  • Pull the building’s fire alarm and alert others as you’re leaving.
  • Get out of the building immediately. Don’t stop to grab your things; they can be replaced, but you can’t.
  • Notify the fire department from outside the building.
  • Do not go back inside the building to retrieve any belongings.

You are at a higher risk of fire if…
  • You live in unsprinklered housing.
  • You do not have a working smoke alarm.
  • You do not have a fire extinguisher and/or do not know how to use it.
  • You are under the influence of alcohol.
  • You leave candles unattended or burn them near flammable materials, such as posters, wall tapestries and bedding.
  • You smoke cigarettes and throw them away carelessly.
  • You plug too many appliances into a single outlet or extension cord.

You can protect yourself if you…
Smoke Alarms:
  • Ensure that your residence hall, apartment or house has working smoke alarms.
  • Check the batteries regularly.
  • Don’t cover smoke alarms with posters, wall tapestries and furniture.
Fire Extinguishers:
  • Buy a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it BEFORE a fire breaks out.
  • Regularly check your fire extinguisher to make sure it is fully charged.
  • Live in an apartment or residence hall that has a sprinkler system, which significantly increases your chance of surviving a fire.
  • Always extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the room.
  • Keep candles away from items that could easily catch fire.
Extension Cords:
  • Use UL-listed extension cords and do not plug too many appliances into a single outlet. This could cause them to overload, heat up and catch fire.
  • Don’t run extension cords under carpets.
Cigarettes and Alcohol:
  • Do not leave smoking materials burning; fully extinguish cigarettes when you are through with them.
  • Do not throw cigarette butts in the trash.
  • Search couch and chair cushions for smoldering cigarettes.
  • Drink responsibly. Studies show that more than half of all fire victims were under the influence of alcohol.
  • Have a fire escape ladder as an alternate route from a second or third floor bedroom.
  • Know two ways out of every building.

For more tips and information, visit www.campusfiresafety.org.