5 Tips for Fire Safety in Your College Dorm


By Chris Curry

Whether you have a craving for a midnight snack to stay alert for finals or whether you just want to get away from the tasteless choices of the cafeteria food that may be offered, cooking in the dorm room requires following certain rules. Many college dorm fires are started due to a mishap with cooking. Keeping fire extinguishers close by may be one way to help put out a fire, but knowing the steps to keeping safe can help you avoid a bad situation altogether.

The following are some common sense tips anyone can use when thinking of cooking in your college dorm:

Put the safety of others first. When deciding to whip up something to eat in the dorm, you must remember that there are hundreds of other students who are relying on the safety and security of the buildings you are in. Your dorm may even be an old building that does not have a proper sprinkler system, alarm system, or other needed and updated fire safety tools close by.

Know the rules of your school. If you are not allowed to have cooking apparatus such as a hot plate, microwave or any other cooking device in your room due to the risk of fire they can impose, then obey the rules. They are there for your safety and the safety of others. Is it fair to risk their safety because you feel that you may be an exception to the rule?

Stay alert. If you are allowed to cook in the dorm, then you must always stand nearby when using the stove. Do not go off talking on the phone, chatting online, or go out for a smoke until your food is ready. Once you have finished cooking, unplug the device and make sure to wipe it clean so as to not start a fire the next time you use it. Do not plug in your cooking appliances anywhere near curtains, clothes, blankets, or anything else that can quickly catch fire. Always keep baking soda and fire extinguishers nearby so you can grab then without having to search or stumble around.

Other causes of dorm fires. Cooking is not the only thing that has been known to cause fires in dorm rooms as some deaths happened in the bedroom. Someone went to bed with incense burning, or a candle burning without proper security features. In addition, smoking and cigarette butts that have not been put out all the way have been known to cause fires. Many states have passed no smoking laws, which have helped in cutting down the number of fires associated with bedroom fires.

While many college students may not have extra spending money, it is always a wise investment for parents to purchase fire safety tools such as fire suffocation blankets, fire extinguishers, or even an oxygen mask, so they can rest assured their child will be safe.

Electrical Appliances

If you do purchase electrical appliances such as a space heater, halogen lamps, or other electrical item, take the time to make sure you inspect the cords for fraying or cuts, keep the appliances away from your bed or anything else that would have material that will burn easily and never overload your extension cords and power bars.

Finally, know where your building fire doors are for a quick exit when needed. Make sure to leave the pathway to the outside free from clutter as you will not have time to shove dressers, bookshelves, piles of books,clothes or anything else out of your way in case of an emergency. Know where the fire extinguishers are and learn how to use one so that you will always be safe.

Author Information

Chris Curry is a Print Journalism graduate with over fifteen years of writing experience. He has written for numerous magazines, newspapers and online publications. He has also served as the Mental Health Editor of the Campus Free Press and the Mental Health Correspondent for Evoke Magazine. Chris shares the importance of fire safety by writing about useful tips and information on fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment.


The Daily Campus: New Tips, Statistics For Dorm Room Fire Safety

U.S. Fire Administration: Get Out and Stay Alive Fire Safety Program for Colleges and Universities


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Categories: Personal Advice