Today's News

Free fire prevent and safety tips for college students from ASSE (9/9)

September 9, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

In an effort to prevent injuries and illnesses in fires that occur in college residence halls, off-campus housing or fraternity/sorority houses and to raise awareness of life-saving fire prevention knowledge as students return to school, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the ASSE Fire Protection Practice Specialty (PS) are providing free fire prevention and safety tip sheets, according to a press release.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 3,570 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks in 2003-2006. These fires caused an annual average of seven civilian deaths, 54 civilian fire injuries and $29.4 million in property damage. In August, 2010, a fire at a sorority house at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., caused more than 70 occupants to evacuate, injured one woman and caused over $50,000 in damage to the building.

Though a number of student-related fire tragedies occur both on and off-campus, the majority of fatal fires occur off-campus. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), out of the 139 campus-related fire fatalities that occurred from January 2000 to the present, 84 percent occurred off-campus. Thus far in 2010, five students have died in off-campus fires.

“We want students to be able to finish their studies, not die or be injured in a preventable fire. Awareness about fire safety and prevention is critical to ensuring the safety and well-being of students living in on or off-campus housing,” said ASSE Fire Protection PS Administrator Walt Beattie, CSP, CFPS, CSHM. “Off-campus fires are the most common, but all students need to be aware of the dangers associated with fires and how to react in the event of an emergency. No one wants to lose a child, brother, sister or friend to a tragic fire.”

The USFA notes that there is a strong link between fire deaths and alcohol, stating that in more than 50 percent of adult fire fatalities the victims were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the fires. The USFA also states that in cases where fire fatalities occurred on campus, alcohol was a factor. Drinking alcohol impairs judgment and motor skills, and can hinder efforts to evacuate during a fire.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Fire Deaths and Injuries Fact Sheet, most victims of fires die from smoke or toxic gases, not from burns. Additionally, according to the USFA, smoke inhalation alone accounts for 40 percent of residential building fire injuries. Smoke inhalation occurs when one breathes in the products of combustion during a fire. Combustion results from the rapid breakdown of a substance by heat, burning. Smoke is a mixture of heated particles and gases.

To help reduce risk of injury and death, residence halls should be equipped with properly operating self-closing doors that are not propped open; clearly marked exits; corridors that are kept clear and are not blocked; heating and ventilation systems that are routinely inspected and repaired for any deficiencies; and properly operating fire alarm and extinguishing systems, where required.

There are many steps you can take to prevent on and off-campus fires. Simple actions such as not overloading extension cords, power strips or outlets significantly reduce risk. Cooking safely, avoiding open flames and correctly discarding of smoking materials are just a few additional ways to reduce the risk of fire. Students should know where all exits are located and develop a fire escape plan for off-campus housing. Students living in on-campus dormitories or residence halls should follow all emergency evacuation procedures and participate in all fire drills. Know how to operate a fire extinguisher, fire alarms and smoke detectors.

ASSE provides free fire safety tips on statistics, prevention, fire escape planning, fire safety equipment for off-campus and Greek housing, information on recent incidents, a parent guide to fire safety, what you need to know when your child leaves home for college, a list of key resources and an on/off campus fire safety flyer. These are available at www.asse.org/newsroom/safetytips under on/off campus fire safety tips.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

11/4/14 2:00 pm EST

Eye Injuries: You rarely see them coming. Practical Solutions for reducing injuries to the eye.

The 3M Eye Injury Reduction webinar will provide an examination of how to help solve eye injuries in the workplace. This issue continues to challenge virtually every industry, and the solution is often times multifaceted. 3M will share some new tools and approaches to help you in solving this issue.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN1014_cover.jpg

2014 October

This issue features articles about PPE safety and OSHA standards

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.