For Immediate Release: August 20, 2013
State Fire Marshal, Shaw University and Raleigh FD Team Up for Eye-Opening Fire Safety Demo
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin joined Shaw University President Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy and members of the Raleigh Fire Department today for a dormitory fire demonstration on the Shaw University campus. Sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Insurance and Office of State Fire Marshal, the demonstration was an effort to promote fire safety awareness among college students.
"Today's demonstration shows the staggering reality of how quickly a fire can change — or even end — lives," said Goodwin. "Fortunately, college students living both on and off campus can incorporate steps into their back-to-school routine to proactively keep them from becoming victims of a tragic fire."
Since 2000, 11 students have perished as a result of fires in on-campus and off-campus residences in North Carolina. Nationwide, 162 people have died in campus-related fires since January 2000, and four out of five of those have occurred in off-campus housing where a vast majority of the nation's 18 million students live.*
"Educating our students about fire safety is an important priority for the university, and we are happy to partner with fire safety advocates to spread this message," said Yancy. "We hope all college students in North Carolina will apply the safety tips presented today to prevent fires and to help protect themselves now and in the future."
Students from Shaw University, North Carolina State University, Meredith College, William Peace University and Saint Augustine University were invited to attend the demonstration, which included the live burn of two model dormitory rooms.
Parents and their students can work together by following these helpful tips as they head off to school:
- Always plan two ways out of your dormitory, off-campus residence, college stadium, theater, etc.
- Sprinklers save lives. Select student housing that has fire sprinklers.
- Smoke alarms save lives…do not disconnect them, take out the batteries or tamper with them in any way.
- When a fire or smoke alarm sounds, get out of the building. You never know when it's a real fire.
- Be cautious at parties! A number of fires start when people are drinking alcohol and not watching where they put their smoking materials. Many fires start once a party is over and smoldering materials fully ignite.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol while preparing a meal, and never leave food unattended on the stove or in the microwave.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Don't overload outlets or extension cords as they can overheat and start a fire.
- Download the "Questions to Ask When Looking at On-campus & Off-campus Housing"; resource sheet from www.campus-firewatch.com and other resources from www.campusfiresafety.org.