We are about 2 weeks into the new academic school year for most universities and colleges! Dorms are equipped with fire systems to keep all the new kids safe but what about students living off campus? This is a completely different story for off campus house.Most are not equipped with commercial grade fire systems and many don’t even have properly working smoke detectors.
According to the Center for Campus Fire Safety, almost 80 percent of fire related fatalities in student housing occur off campus. The most common causes of these fires are lack of automatic fire sprinklers, missing or disabled smoke alarms and careless disposal of smoking materials.
Here are some tips to stay safe in your off campus home or apartment:
- Check smoke alarms in each bedroom.
- Create an escape plan with at least 2 ways to exit the building in case of fire.
- Make sure all windows open easily and know how to unlock them quickly.
- Find out when the heating system was last inspected. It should be within the past year.
- If your building has a sprinkler system, ask when the last time they were tested. If there is no sprinkler system, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. 41% of fires start here.
- In case of fire, be sure to pull the fire alarm immediately to notify your house mates and the fire department. Get out of the building immediately and stay low to the ground to avoid smoke inhalation.
- If you are stuck behind a door, carefully feel for heat before opening. Never open a hot door. If there is no exit, phone for help and wait for firefighters.