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When students are in college, their studies are typically their primary focus. They tend to not think as carefully about other important areas, such as fire safety, as carefully as they should. When students live off campus, they may find themselves in older homes, homes without working fire detectors, homes with space heaters, or any number of fire hazards. For the first time, it is up to the students to determine what the dangers are and to prepare properly for their own safety. Parents can be a great assistance in this regard, as they can help students understand the precautions they need to take and guide them in inspecting their homes. Just a few minutes to review safety can save lives.

Tragedy Strikes at Frostburg State University

Just this weekend, tragedy struck when an off campus house for several students who attended Frostburg State University went up in flames early Saturday morning. Although two roommates were able to able to escape with only minor injuries, a third was killed in the two-alarm fire. In the reports immediately following the fire, firefighters were unable to tell if the alarms in the home were working.

Improving Fire Safety

When students move into housing, there are certain steps they should take to make sure the residence is as safe as possible. For example, make sure there are working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. Check to see that escape routes, such as windows, are easy to open. Review safety precautions with all roommates, such as not plugging more than one heat producing appliance into an outlet at one time. Also know where everyone will meet in the event of a fire. Develop a fire safety checklist, such as this one, to keep the home secure. It is important to know what areas are covered by a rental agreement so the students can request assistance if something is not set up properly.

Fire safety is never something that should be ignored or pushed aside, but unfortunately it is often overlooked as students focus on the rest of their university career. Parents should take just a few minutes with their children and their roommates to make sure that everyone is familiar with fire safety. It could save their lives.

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