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Campus and dorm fires

Life on a college campus 

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. When it comes to on- and off-campus housing, it’s important for students and parents to keep fire safety top of mind.

Campus fire safety by the numbers
  • 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

*Source: NFPA's "Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks" report
**Source: The Center for Campus Fire Safety

Partnerships and campaigns

Best Roomates Evah! campaignBest Roommates Evah!
NFPA, together with fire chiefs, building officials, college safety officials and campus fire safety advocates launched this public awareness campaign about the importance of working smoke alarms and two ways out. Get more information and resources.

See It Before You Sign It
The “See It Before You Sign It,” campaign 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 a off-campus housing fire safety checklist, parents and students can make better informed decisions. NFPA is pleased to be partnering with Campus Firewatch, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration for this campaign.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has also created an infographic for this campaign for you to use on your website, blogs and social media sites. Just download the graphic (PDF, 527 KB) and place wherever you want to use it. Please link to the Campus Firewatch website.

More campus fire safety information