Campus and dorm fires

Campus Safety Banner 

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 Partnership

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.

Campus fire safety contest

Pizza party at University of Delaware
Jose Garcia Contora and friends enjoyed
their pizza party at the University of
The results are in! Three winners were chosen from the more than 100 students who participated from 31 schools nationwide. The two-tiered Contest, which ran September 1 – 25 in conjunction with Campus Fire Safety Month, targeted students currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning and was created to help raise awareness of campus fires, and encourage students to put safety first. The contest was sponsored by The Center for Campus Fire Safety, Domino’s, The University of New Haven Fire Science Club and NFPA. And the winners are:
  • Domino's-sponsored pizza party for 50 friends: Jake Akstins, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois and Jose Garcia Cintora, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.
  • iPad mini 4/Essay Contest: Asante Knowles, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee. Read the winning essay (PDF, 20 KB).
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.**

*Source: NFPA's Fire Analysis & Research Division
**Source: The Center for Campus Fire Safety

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.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700