7 Fire Safety Tips for College Students
Off-campus housing and fire prevention.
Three Marist College students died in a house fire on Jan. 21 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., a fire that still remans under investigation. The students were living in a privately-owned home, not one affiliated with the college.
As investigators seek to identify the cause of the Marist fire, college students everywhere can prevent injury or death by keeping in mind the following safety tips:
1. Never leave a stove unattended. If you have a pot or a pan on a stove, stay with it at all times. You may find yourself momentarily distracted and unable to take action if a fire erupts. Taking it a step further, Best Home Security recommends exercising the same level of caution when using an iron or grill.
2. Keep your work area clear. When cooking, keep flammable items away from the surface of the stove. Paper towels, dish towels, curtains, matches and plastic bags should be at least three feet away according to the Home Safety Council.
3. At the stove. If you are working with a hot flame as opposed to an electric stove top, what you wear could cause injury. Use mitts and roll up your sleeves to prevent burns. Unless you only use the microwave, every kitchen with a stove should have a working fire extinguisher.
4. Watch those candles. Never leave candles unattended. Use on stable candle bases and blow out candles before retiring at night. A candle may simply burn out, but it could just as easily ignite if knocked over by a family pet.
5. Check your smoke detectors. Like fire regulations likely require a smoke detector in the vicinity of the kitchen and one each on every floor especially near sleeping areas. Test each detector periodically. Replace batteries twice annually such as when the time changes.
6. Strategically place portable heaters. Portable heaters should be used wisely. Never place a unit near drapes or other flammable material.
7. Create an escape plan. You and your roommates should have an escape plan in place in the event the unthinkable happens. Never block or lock your escape route from the outside. Have at least two ways of getting out of your home. Front and back entrances or leaving by way of a window are typical exit options.
You can prevent fires by forbidding smoking in your home. In addition, a dryer can cause a home fire if lint is not regularly cleaned out of the lint trap.
If there is a problem with your home such as an electrical issue, notify your landlord. If you don’t receive help immediately call your fire department. Use 9-1-1 to report an emergency.