VALPARAISO, IN--(Marketwire - Aug 16, 2011) - Along with the return of the school season, the month of September also marks campus fire safety month. McDaniel, a leader in full-service fire suppression, fire alarm and security systems for over 75 years, is offering some helpful tips to keep college students informed and safe this school year.
According to FireSafety.gov, a Web site supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration, most campus fires are caused due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Cooking is also among the leading causes of fire injuries on college campuses, closely followed by careless smoking, alcohol use and arson.
Here are some easy tips to follow to keep your dorm room or apartment safe from fire:
- Ask the right questions before you start school: Students and parents should ask school officials important questions such as: "Does every room have a smoke alarm?" "How often are fire drills conducted?" "Are the residence halls equipped with automatic fire sprinkler systems?" "How many fires have occurred on campus in the past few years?" Being knowledgeable about your campus fire safety program can help keep you safe in the event of a fire.
- Don't hide from fire alarms: Treat every fire drill as if it were the real thing, even if it occurs at 3 a.m. Leave the building immediately and close all doors behind you. Always be aware of alternative exits in case your main exit is blocked. Keep clutter out of hallways and entrances because they can become deadly obstacles to your escape.
- Limit your use of open flames: The use of candles and indoor smoking are other top causes of on-campus fires. Don't allow smoking inside your dorm room or apartment and do not leave burning candles unattended. Finally, keep candles in a sturdy holder that keeps them away from papers, bedding, curtains and other flammable materials.
- Never remove the batteries from your smoke or carbon monoxide detector: These devices can save your life, so taking out the batteries for use in other electronic devices is not a good idea. Always ensure that your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries at all times. An easy way to remember to change the batteries on these devices is to do it when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
- Appliance safety: Be sure to use appliances only as they were intended to be used and keep them in good working order. Appliances such as hot plates, electrical blankets, irons, toaster ovens, hair dryers and portable space heaters all can become fire hazards if not properly used and attended too. Do not use any appliances or lamps that spark.
- Don't overload outlets: Using a series of adaptors to connect numerous machines or devices to an electrical outlet may result in an overload, power outage, spark or fire. Do not plug more than two devices into one electrical outlet. If multiple devices must be plugged into one outlet, have a licensed electrician evaluate the demands that can be placed on the power source. If an extension cord must be used, be sure to use an-approved (by a national testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories® - UL) and correctly rated extension cord for use with the particular appliance and location.
- Follow school rules on in-house cooking: Cooking is the second leading cause of dorm fires after arson. The majority of cooking fires are started due to inattentiveness. Selecting appliances with automatic shut-off switches is a great idea for dorm rooms. Don't use stoves and microwaves for storage and don't use them to help heat a cold dorm room or apartment. Lastly, keep a functional fire extinguisher nearby the cooking area and make sure you know how to use it.
For additional information and tips on campus fire safety, please visit the following Web sites:
McDaniel has been a leader in full-service fire suppression, fire alarm and security systems for over 75 years. From comprehensive design, fabrication and installation, to inspection, testing and service, McDaniel can meet all of your fire protection and security needs. For more information please visit www.mcdanielfire.com or call (219)462-0571. McDaniel is a holding of The Freedom Group, LLC, a private investment firm based in Geneva, Ill.