There are several specific causes for these fires, including cooking, intentionally set fires, and open flame, but most are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention.
Over the state line in Connecticut, September has been proclaimed Campus Fire Safety Month by the Governor.
“Since January 2000, 158 college students have died in fires, 85% of them in off-campus housing,” said State Fire Administrator Jeffrey Morrissette. “Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, adequate and clearly marked exits, escape planning and safe cooking practices are the best ways to keep college students safe from fire.”
The State Fire Administrator recommends the following campus fire safety tips:Candles
- Avoid using lighted candles.
- Do not leave candles unattended.
- Keep candles away from draperies and linens.
- Cook only where it is permitted.
- Keep your cooking area clean and uncluttered.
- If you use electric appliances, don't overload circuits.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.
- If you smoke, smoke outside.
- Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
- Be alert - don't smoke in bed. If you are sleepy or have been drinking, put your cigarette out first.
- Don’t delay your escape and never re-enter the structure once you are out.
- If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.
- Before opening a door, feel the door. If it's hot, use your second way out.
- Use the stairs; never use an elevator during a fire.
- If you're trapped, call the fire department (911) and tell them where you are. Seal your door with rags and signal from your window. Open windows slightly at the top and bottom; shut them if smoke rushes in from any direction.
- If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you may need to leave the building.