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Campus Fire Safety Month

September is Campus Fire Safety Month and Illinois joins numerous states across the country to raise awareness of fire safety in on and off-campus housing. Governor JB Pritzker has again this year proclaimed September as Campus Fire Safety Month in Illinois. This month is a time for universities and colleges to work with their local fire departments to ensure students reside in a fire-safe living environment and are provided fire safety information.

College is often the first time many young people are living away from home, meaning it’s more important than ever for them to understand how to create and practice a fire safety escape plan. Having working smoke alarms, sprinkled residential dwellings, and other fire safety plans in place can create a safe living environment.

The goal of this month is to create educational opportunities for students to learn the importance of fire safety, ultimately leading to the reduced risk for fires and or death related to on and off campus fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), September and October are the peak months for fires in dormitory properties, with cooking being the main cause of these fires. Fires most commonly occur during the evening hours. According to data from the Center for Campus Fire Safety, from January 2000 to April 2022, 94 fatal fires have been documented that occurred on a college campus, in Greek housing, or in off-campus housing within three miles of the campus and claimed 134 lives. An astonishing 94 percent of fatal campus fires examined took place in off-campus housing, with 7 fatalities occurring here in Illinois since 2000.

Here are some fire safety tips and ways to help keep students safe when choosing a residence:

  • Look for housing whether on or off campus that is outfitted with working sprinklers.
  • Make sure 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 or cover any alarm device.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least monthly.
  • Whether you live on or off campus, have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.
  • 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.
  • Dispose of used smoking materials in proper receptacles.
  • 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 fire campus fire safety tips avaialble by clicking here