of this month is to help prevent common campus fires and reduce fire
hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
fires in student housing cause an average of one death, 32 injuries,
and $15 million dollars in property damage each year. Three out of
four of those fires begins in the kitchen. The likelihood for a fire
is greatest on the weekends and on weekdays from 5-9 PM. Since
January 2000, at least 175 people, including students, parents and
children have died in college-related fires with 7 of those
fatalities occurring here Illinois.
“This month serves as a good reminder for schools, universities,
colleges and local municipalities to join together and evaluate the
level of fire safety being provided in both on and off-campus
student housing. It’s important that all the proper steps are being
taken to ensure fire-safe living environments are available for
students,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.
The OSFM encourages schools, universities, colleges and local
municipalities across Illinois to come together and provide
educational fire safety outreach programs to all students throughout
the entire school year, not just in September. For many students,
this could be their first exposure to a fire safety lesson since
they were in elementary school. Since this is the first-time many
students have lived away from home, it’s more important than ever
for students to understand how to create a fire safety escape plan
and practice that plan.
“As a residential university, we understand and appreciate that
keeping our students and employees safe is our top priority,” said
Eastern Illinois University President Dr. David Glassman. “EIU is
proud to have been recognized as the first state university to fully
comply with the State’s residence hall sprinkler act in 2012.
Participating in Campus Fire Safety Month events gives EIU even more
opportunities to reinforce its fire prevention and fire safety best
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Here are some fire safety tips and ways to help keep students
safe when choosing a residence:
• Look for housing on and off campus that has sprinklers.
• Make sure that you can hear the building’s fire alarm system.
• Check to make sure all sleeping rooms and common areas have functioning smoke
alarms. For optimal protection, all smoke alarms in the home should be
interconnected so that when one sounds, they all sound.
• Never remove batteries or disable the alarm.
• Test all smoke alarms at least monthly.
• If you live off campus, have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every
• Learn the building’s evacuation plan and practice all drills as if they were
the real thing.
• When the smoke alarm or CO alarm sounds, exit the building quickly and stay
out until given instructions to return.
• If you smoke, smoke outside and only in designated areas.
• Never leave the kitchen when cooking.
• Check with your local fire department, building management or campus office
before using a barbeque grill or fire pit.
• Never overload electrical outlets and check with the school to make sure what
electrical appliances are allowed.
More campus fire safety information can be found by visiting OSFM’s website.
[Illinois Office of Communication and