Fall is a bustling time for any college campus. Students are returning en masse, filling classrooms and dorms with increasing numbers every year. With this rise in activity and excitement comes an increase in safety concerns, as students often find themselves with more personal responsibility than they may be used to.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the first two months of the school year (September and October) are peak months for campus fires. They report these incidents tend to occur in the evenings between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m., and 87% of the time they are caused by cooking equipment. Planning properly for safety incidents and providing the right information to students can help reduce the risk of fire and ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
Read on to learn how proper fire safety planning can reduce the risk of fire to college campuses.
Education is Key
For many students, the campus experience is one of many firsts and newfound responsibilities. No longer under the watchful eye of their parents, they may not be aware of every potential threat to their personal safety and the safety of others. Providing practical tips in the form of dorm “Dos and Don’ts” is an easy way to address this, as it helps teach them best fire safety practices. Areas to mention include:
- Stay in the kitchen while cooking
- Do not overload electrical sockets
- Never leave a burning candle unattended
- Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to bed
- If you smoke, don’t be careless: smoke outside, and never when drinking or sleepy
- Test smoke alarms monthly
- NEVER remove or disable smoke alarms
- Be familiar with the building’s evacuation plan, including all alternate routes
- Do not store belongings outside of your dorm room—exit doors, halls, and stairwells need to be free and accessible in case of an emergency
Reinforce the idea that these safety tips are not mere suggestions—clearly communicate your expectations that every student will follow these rules to ensure campus safety.
Provide Clear Fire Evacuation Maps
So what happens when someone doesn’t follow the rules? Accidents can happen, no matter how much you try to prevent them. Students need to know what should come next, making familiarization with a building’s evacuation plan an important aspect of campus fire safety. It isn’t enough to merely point out emergency exits on move-in day—students need reliable information in the form of an evacuation map that can be referenced throughout the school year. Dorms should then schedule regular evacuation drills, encouraging students to practice as if they were the real thing.
Work with the Experts at Building Maps
Building evacuation maps play a vital role in campus safety, but in order to be truly effective, they should be detailed, clear, and easy to follow. Here at Building Maps, our team of illustration experts have years of experience doing just that—crafting user-friendly safety solutions that aid evacuation and help save lives. If your college campus is in need of fire safety planning, please contact us or reach out to request a quote anytime.