Fire Precautions

Fire prevention is vitally important in off-campus living. Monthly tests of fire alarm systems and routine checks and servicing of fire extinguishers are performed in campus residence halls, but such care is often neglected in apartment buildings and private residences. All residence halls have sprinkler systems while most apartment buildings and private houses have none. Check with the owner or building manager for information regarding the fire prevention system and evacuation plan in your building.

Potential fuel for fire can be limited in private homes by good housekeeping practices. All clothing, wood, and other combustibles should be stored away from sources of ignition such as open flames, matches, and heated objects. Cigarettes and matches are the major causes of fires, but in homes, stoves and candles are also high on the list of potential fire sources. Sparks from electric motors and defective electrical equipment also constitute sources of ignition. Play it safe with any potential ignition source.

Be certain that your living unit has a fire extinguisher mounted in a readily accessible place. If you have only one extinguisher, make certain that it is a multipurpose dry chemical type. If you have a kitchen, the extinguisher should be mounted near the kitchen entrance. Also, make certain that you have at least one functioning smoke alarm because smoke may be the first warning of a fire. Consider this: smoke kills more people than heat in building fires.