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Going to College
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By Member Joyce Shry
August 10, 2017

Back to college season is here.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are many fire safety tips that help students living away from home ensure they are in a fire safe environment.

Going to college is an exciting time for students and their parents. Living in your new “home away from home” not only gives young adults more freedom to make their own choices, but it also puts upon them an increased level of personal responsibility while at school.
When it comes to on- and off-campus housing, it’s important for students and parents to keep fire safety top of mind.

Campus fire safety by the numbers:

• In 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 3,870 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks

• In 2009 – 2013 86% of the reported structure fires involved cooking equipment. 83% of fires were specifically reported as contained or confined to cooking equipment

• From 2000 - 2015, 89 fires that killed 126 people have occurred on a college campus, in Greek housing or in off-campus housing within three miles of the campus.

Of these:
o 76 off-campus fires caused 107 deaths
o 7 on-campus building or residence hall fires claimed 9 victims
o 6 fires in Greek housing took the lives of 10 people

Dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks

The annual number of fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and barracks reported to U.S. fire departments has been substantially higher in recent years than any time prior to 2000. Cooking equipment was involved in the vast majority of fires in these properties. Fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks are more common during the evening hours and on weekends.

Report highlights

In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 3,970 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks.

These fires caused annual averages of 1 civilian death, 35 civilian injuries, and $15 million in direct property damage.

86% of the reported structure fires involved cooking equipment. The vast majority of fires were specifically reported as contained or confined to cooking equipment.

Structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks are more common during the evening hours between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., and on weekends.

SEE IT BEFORE YOU SIGN IT

The “See It Before You Sign It,” campaign encourages parents to take a more active role in helping their loved ones choose secure, fire-safe housing in apartments or houses that are not on campus. With a off-campus housing fire safety checklist, parents and students can make better informed decisions. NFPA is pleased to be partnering with Campus Firewatch, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration for this campaign.

Whether walking back from a late night class or from an evening out with friends, it's important for students to feel safe at college. Practice common sense such as being aware of your surroundings and learn how your college handles safety issues. Finding your way to adapt to college is a normal challenge, and it will get easier over time. We recommend you use your support network of family and friends to help you cope with adjustments or reaching out to a school counselor.

College will fly by. These four years go by incredibly fast, so make the most of them.

Attachments:
Attachment CampusSafetyTips.pdf  (1,376k)
Attachment OffCampusFireInfographic.pdf  (1,395k)
 
 

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