This past September, colleges and universities observed Campus Fire Safety Month – a nationwide effort to raise fire and life safety awareness on campus. And, October 7th-13th is National Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and a great time to reinforce this important topic on your campus.
Surprisingly, most students don’t receive fire safety training in higher education and haven’t received it since elementary school.
Overloaded sockets, dismantled smoke alarms, neglected flames, smoking, unattended cooking, faulty fire escapes, and over-occupation in student housing are several reasons as to why fires begin and fatalities on campus happen.
Campus staff can help reduce fires and fire-fatalities on campus by:
- Inspecting student housing regularly for fire sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, exit doors and windows.
- Create or update floor pans, detailed as possible, and make them available to local/state emergency personnel, resident staff as well as students.
- Conduct fire drills for all students, faculty and staff regularly throughout the academic year to ensure campus members know how to react in case one happens.
- Implement fire safety training to educate students, faculty and staff on influencing factors of campus fires, what to do in a fire, and who to notify if one occurs.
Fire safety tips for students can be found in the image above or found here.
Fire Safety Legislation
All higher education institutions receiving funding from the federal government are required to disclose fire safety standards and measures through the Campus Fire Safety Right to Know Act.
Campuses are required to publicly provide:
- Statistics for each on-campus student housing facility.
- Descriptions of each on-campus student housing building’s fire safety systems.
- The number of mandatory, supervised fire drills.
- Policies or rules on portable electronic appliances, smoking and open flames, evacuation procedures, fire safety education and training programs provided to students, faculty and staff.
- Plans for future fire safety improvements.
- An annual report to the campus community.
Fire safety on campus is an important topic that should be regularly discussed and updated as improvements are made on campus.
How SafeColleges Can Help
The SafeColleges Training System includes several courses for both students and employees on fire safety, such as Campus Fire Safety, Fire and Explosion Hazards, Fire Extinguisher Safety, and more.These fire safety courses education campus members on risk factors, insights, and strategies. And, what to do in the unfortunate event that a fire occurs on campus.