September - Campus Fire Safety Month

Fire Marshal Encourages Fire Prevention For Ohio’s College Students

Governor Ted Strickland has declared September as Campus Fire Safety Month in Ohio in a proclamation announced today. Governor Strickland, Commerce Director Kimberly Zurz and Interim State Fire Marshal Donald Cooper are encouraging Ohio’s college students to understand the importance of fire safety and prevention as they return to school.

“Ohio’s college students need to be aware that fire can strike anywhere at any time and they must be prepared,” said Cooper. “Practicing fire safety at all times, whether in dormitories, Greek housing or off-campus housing, can mean the difference between life and death. A fire safety and prevention program is essential for students, as well as off-campus organizations which provide housing.” Cooper added that college is often the first time many students are responsible for all aspects of their daily living, and that includes their own personal safety.

“We are pleased that Campus Fire Safety Month is recognized in Ohio to raise awareness of the importance of keeping our college students informed and safe from the devastating effects of fire,” said Paul D. Martin, president of The Center for Campus Fire Safety, the nation’s leading non-profit organization devoted to campus fire safety issues.

According to Campus Firewatch, there have been 140 campus-related fire fatalities nationwide since January, 2000. This includes residence hall, off-campus and Greek student housing. According to the organization, over 85 percent of the campus-related fire fatalities have occurred in off-campus housing. Common factors in a number of these fires include missing or disabled smoke alarms, careless disposal of smoking materials and impaired judgment from alcohol consumption.

The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal encourages students to:

  • Take all fire and smoke alarms seriously.
  • Know the dormitory’s or residence hall’s fire escape plan. Each student should know two ways out — one normal route through hallways and stairways and one alternative route.
  • Have smoke detectors installed on each level of the residence and inside each bedroom or sleeping area.
  • Check the smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a semester.
  • Never remove the smoke detector batteries because of cooking smoke or the need for a battery elsewhere, such as a flashlight, game or other electronic device.
  • Extinguish all smoking materials, candles and incense thoroughly. Never leave them unattended.
  • Clean up immediately after parties and take all trash outside. Designate a non-impaired “event monitor” to be in charge of the clean up.

Do not overload electrical outlets or use extension cords in place of permanent wiring.