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Posted on: August 1, 2022

Campus and Off-Campus Fire Safety

Campus Fire Safety

Going to college is an exciting time for students and their parents. Living in your new “home away from home” not only gives young adults more freedom to make their own choices, but it also instills in them an increased level of personal responsibility. It’s important for students and parents to keep fire safety at the top of their mind.

A 15 year study (2000-2015) conducted by the US Fire Administration (USFA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found:

  • 118 fatalities occurred in 85 fires
  • 94% occurred in off-campus housing
  • Smoke detectors were either missing or non-working in 58% of the fires
  • No sprinkler systems were found to be installed in any of the fires
  • 70% occurred on Friday, Saturday or Sunday
  • 73% of the fires occurred between midnight and 6 am
  • Males accounted for 67% of victims
  • Alcohol was a factor in 76% of the fires

Here are some good questions for college students and parents to ask before moving into a dormitory or signing an apartment lease:

  • Are there working smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside of sleeping areas, and on each level of the building?
  • Are there at least two ways out of each room and the building?
  • Do the upper levels of the building have at least two sets of stairs inside and/or a fire escape?
  • Are there exit signs in the hallways to show the way out?
  • Are there enough electrical outlets for all appliances, computers, printers and electronics – without using an extension cord?
  • Has the building’s heating system been inspected recently (in the last year)?
  • Does the building have a sprinkler system?
  • Does the building have a fire alarm system?
  • Does the sprinkler or fire alarm system send a signal to emergency services?
  • Is the building address clearly posted so emergency services can find it quickly if they need to?           

The City of Carbondale wants everyone to be safe. Test your smoke alarms monthly and identify two exits out of every room. One death is too many. Don’t become a statistic. For more information please contact the City of Carbondale Fire Department at 618-457-3234 or go to

Click for more information on Campus Fire Safety and Fire Safe College Housing

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