For Immediate Release: September 8, 2010
Contacts: Kristin Milam or Kerry Hall (919) 733-5238
September is Campus Fire Safety Month
Raleigh -- September has been proclaimed Campus Fire Safety Month in North Carolina, and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin is reminding all college and university communities to incorporate fire safety into everyday living. Unfortunately, North Carolina has suffered a number of fire tragedies involving college students. Many of these deaths could have been prevented.
"The importance of fire safety is a lesson we don't want anyone to learn the hard way," said State Fire Marshal Goodwin. "Fire service professionals and students need to work together to make sure everyone has the opportunity to pursue an education in a safe environment."
Common factors in fatal campus-related fires nationwide include:
- Lack of automatic fire sprinkler systems
- Missing or disabled smoke alarms
- Careless disposal of smoking materials
- Alcohol consumption
- Make sure smoke alarms are properly installed and working. Never tamper with or disable them.
- Follow your school's rules for using candles, electronics and cooking equipment.
- Learn your building's escape routes and never ignore an alarm.
- In off-campus housing, make a home fire escape plan with two exits from each room.
The Office of State Marshal is working to improve fire safety on campuses with the help of a $105,000 federal grant. Fire safety experts are holding regional "Train-the-Trainer" workshops to provide campus leaders and fire officials with resources to reach out to students. OSFM is also providing free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to fire departments so that they can team with students to install them in off-campus neighborhoods. OSFM has created a toolkit to help student leaders share the message of fire safety in on-campus housing. Nine schools and fire departments have been awarded sub-grants to hold campus fire prevention events during September.
"This month is a good time to teach young adults the fire safety habits that they will carry with them the rest of their lives," Goodwin added.