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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Fire Safety in Dorms

I am not a fan of candles. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the scents, the romantic lighting, and the smile of a jack-o-lantern. However, after seeing first hand how easily a candle can lead to a fire, I try not to use them much anymore. As I try to find convincing reasons to show my students why they need to leave the building, I thought I’d share some Res Hall Fire info with you.

The most compelling are the deadly fires around the world. Last semester 36 students were killed and 200 injured in a fire in Moscow. Yes, the building was out of date and overcrowded, but there is no excuse for the deaths of so many students. Seton Hall in New Jersey had a fire while I was in Colorado that left three students dead and an additional 58 injured. These students didn’t evacuate or take the alarm seriously. According to the National Association of State Fire Marshals, fire fighters respond to university housing four times a day somewhere in america. Anyone with recent time living in, knows those four times a day can be in your hall on a Friday night.

Since many buildings don’t have sprinkler systems, overly sensitive systems have been put in place. I have personally evacuated a building when a student used too much hairspray. The systems can lead to false alarms, which in turn desensitize the students. However, without the systems, fires would be raging before the alarm sounded and the evacuation began.

What’s my point? Take every alarm seriously. Evacuate every time as if your life depended on it. And don’t light candles in a dorm or hotel.


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