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Fire Damage in Colleges
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
We send our children off to college, looking forward to watching them become more independent, getting an education, and starting out on their own. For many of these young people, this is the first experience they have had with living away from home for an extended period. We want them to be safe, and we hope they will make every effort to do that.
Unfortunately, fire damage on college campuses has been on the rise over the last few years, and while there are a number of causes, most can be attributed to a lack of fire prevention knowledge and safety protocols.
Common Causes of College Fires
In most cases where fires occur on college campuses, alcohol is a common cause. In more than 50% of adult fire fatalities, it has been determined that alcohol was a contributing factor, with many of the victims under the influence at the time of their death. It is not surprising considering alcohol impairs judgment and may effectively hinder evacuation procedures.
Cooking is another leading cause of college related fires, occurring mostly in dormitories. Other factors, such as careless smoking and arson, round out the top of the list.
When it comes to fires in college dorms, the problems that tend to aggravate this issue are numerous. An already serious situation may be made worse through the improper use of the 911 emergency notification system, which almost certainly results in delayed response on the part of the local fire department. Another factor may be students ignoring fire alarms thinking they are pranks.
Fire alarms and fire extinguishers are routinely activated by pranksters or are not always kept up or maintained and, as a result, may offer little or no help if and when a fire does occur.
Many dorm residents also routinely overload power outlets in order to run any number of electronic devices or appliances. Electrical overload is one of the more potentially lethal fire damage risks.
Steps to Take
Colleges and universities can eliminate many of these issues with proper planning and execution of a well-designed fire damage emergency plan. Students should be made aware of fire risks in their environment, and how to deal with it when it occurs. Smoke alarms should be installed in every room and in the hallways on every level, with regular testing and battery replacement. Rooms should be inspected for fire hazards and all windows and doors should be in proper working order.
In the event of a fire, the college should also have the contact information for their local fire restoration company. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can handle the largest fire damage scenarios, including those affecting college dormitories or educational facilities.
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