Going to college is an exciting time for students and their parents. Living in your new “home away from home” not only gives young adults more freedom to make their own choices, but it also puts upon them an increased level of personal responsibility while at school.
Whether you’re looking for a place to live or as you move into your new space, when it comes to on- and off-campus housing, it’s important for students and parents to keep fire safety top of mind.
NFPA and The Center for Campus Fire Safety are teaming up to promote on- and off-campus fire safety for students. Throughout the school year, we’re asking students to raise awareness around the hazards of fire and take action on their own campus. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s campus fire safety contest during Campus Fire Safety Month (September).
Spring is an important time when students begin looking for off-campus housing for the upcoming fall term. So NFPA is pleased to be partnering with Campus Firewatch, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration to promote “See It Before You Sign It,” a campaign that encourages parents to take a more active role in helping their loved ones choose secure, fire-safe housing in apartments or houses that are not on campus. With checklists, infographics, social media messages and more, parents and students can make better informed decisions when looking for that perfect “home away from home” for the fall semester.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has created an off-campus fire safety infographic (PDF, 527 KB) for you to use on your website, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Just download the graphic (PDF, 527 KB) and place wherever you want to use it. Please link to the Campus Firewatch website.
Campus fire safety by the numbers
- Structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks are more common during the evening hours between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., and on weekends.*
- In 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 3,870 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks*
In 2009 – 2013 86% of the reported structure fires involved cooking equipment. 83% of fires were specifically reported as contained or confined to cooking equipment*
- From 2000 - 2015, 89 fires that killed 126 people have occurred on a college campus, in Greek housing or in off-campus housing within three miles of the campus. Of these:
- 76 off-campus fires caused 107 deaths
- 7 on-campus building or residence hall fires claimed 9 victims
- 6 fires in Greek housing took the lives of 10 people
- Of these 89 fires, 38 of them resulted from unattended cooking, unsupervised or improper candle use or from an electrical problem.**
- From 2000 – 2015, more than nine out of 10 (94 percent) fatal campus fires took place in off-campus housing***. Three factors contributing to the majority of off-campus fires are:
- Missing or disabled smoke alarms
- Improper disposal of cigarettes (on couches and other flammable furniture)
- A student’s impaired judgment due to alcohol
*Source: NFPA's Fire Analysis & Research Division
**Source: The Center for Campus Fire Safety
***Source: U.S. Fire Administration
Also see: NFPA's fact sheet on dormitories, fraternities, sororities and barracks. (PDF, 39 KB)
More campus fire safety information
For more great tips and resources, visit The Center for Campus Fire Safety’s student Web page.
Follow us on the Campus Fire Safety for Students Facebook page and NFPA’s Facebook page.
NFPA and The Center for Campus Fire Safety are pleased to support the 2015 Campus Fire Safety for Students Contest. Nothing in this contest including the selection of a winner implies endorsement or approval of the safety ideas represented. Selection of a winner in Tier 2 of the contest does not indicate any Sponsor has formed an opinion about the effectiveness of the winner’s idea to achieve its goal or any campus safety goal. The Sponsors disclaim all liability in connection with the PSA videos and the selection of a winning idea.