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Student Fire Safety Tips: Living On or Off-Campus

Now that school has started, it is likely that someone you know has transitioned to college life.  It is an exciting time as  Freshmen are getting settled in for their first year at college. There are a lot of things they experience in the first few months as they begin living in a dorm off campus. 

In the midst of all the chaos, it is important to remember some simple fire safety tips. Mr Restore wants everyone to be safe from fires this school year. Check out our college fire safety tips for living on or off-campus.

  1. Safety Check 

Here are a few things to look for in a dorm or apartment. If you need help – ask your apartment manager or resident adviser about fire safety:

  • Are there smoke alarms in all the bedrooms and on all levels of the building?
  • Are there escape ladders for the bedrooms on a second or third floor?
  • Are there enough outlets?
  • Are there carbon monoxide detectors?
  1. Be Fire-Safety Conscious When Decorating

It is fun to decorate your new dorm room or apartment as you arrive at college. However, you need to furnish with fire safety in mind. There are a few things you should know before decking out your room:

  • Halogen lamps are a potential fire hazard
  • You shouldn’t hang things from or over your room’s fire sprinklers
  • It is best to avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets
  • Do not block your access to a door or window
  • Do not remove the smoke detector’s batteries because you are bothered by its blinking light
  1. Avoid Outlet Overload

You need somewhere to charge your laptop and phone and of course  your TV and gaming system. Overloaded electrical outlets, however, are also a major fire hazard.

Therefore, try to plug only one heat-producing appliance into a wall outlet at a time. You can also consider unplugging small appliances, like an iron or coffeemaker, after use. Finally, make sure to use a surge protector. This is especially true if you have a computer in your room. Otherwise, a surge could damage your computer.

  1. Banned Items 

You probably know that you can’t light a candle or burn incense in your dorm room. There are plenty of other fire hazards that you may not know about. Some colleges and universities, for example, ban items that might be a fire risk, like toaster ovens and space heaters. You can look over your school’s residence life policies or the terms of your lease to learn about any prohibited items. 

  1. Cooking Hazards 

Between 2011 and 2015, according to the NFPA, 86% of structure fires in dorms, fraternities, and sororities were caused by cooking equipment. There’s more to cooking than simply following a recipe.

Here are some tips to help ensure you’re safe while cooking:

  • Stay in the kitchen
  • Turn off the stove if you need to leave for any period of time
  • Have a lid nearby
  • Move anything that may catch fire away from the area
  • Turn your pot handles toward the back of the stove
  • Use microwave-safe cookware and avoid metal and foam containers

Finally, be proactive. If you see something, take care of it or ask for help. 

Mr. Restore wants you to be safe. Following these tips on basic precautions and your knowledge about fire prevention will help you safely enjoy your time at college.