This time of year parents are often giving their kids advice on how to stay safe on campus, but oftentimes the discussion excludes fire safety.  Over the last ten years, 71 students died in fires in dormitories or off-campus housing.  One of the biggest challenges with fire safety in a college setting is getting students and the schools to take the issue seriously.

For those that have students away at school, it is also a time to discuss smoke detectors and to ensure that your child has at least one in their sleeping room.  Also, make sure it is a photoelectric smoke detector. Research has demonstrated that photoelectric smoke detectors are more effective at warning residents of smoke from smoldering fires than ionization smoke detectors.  These detectors are more sensitive to large particles given off during smoldering fires – the kind of fires that occur at night when people are asleep. With earlier warning, people, including your college student, will have more time to escape when a fire occurs. Photoelectric smoke detectors are also less susceptible to nuisance alarms.  As fire fighters are well aware, nuisance alarms often lead to the disabling or removing the batteries of smoke detectors by the resident; which places themselves, other residents in the dorm or housing and fire fighters at greater risk.  So, provide your college student with a photoelectric smoke detector and make sure they install it in their room.

So, how is your fire department making a difference at your local college or university to increase fire safety awareness on campus?  See how one IAFF member is spreading the message in his city.