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Dormitory Fire Safety Tips

Posted on: June 14, 2013

With the recent fire that occurred last month in a University of Buffalo dormitory, we feel like it’s a good time to talk about designing effective fire safety systems in dorms. According to university police, the fire broke down shortly before 6:30pm on May 2, caused by careless use of smoking materials inside a fourth floor dorm room.

Dormitories are some of the most heavily populated areas on a college campus, and are where students spend a large amount of their time. Effective dormitory safety measures are crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of the student body. These measures include protection from dorm fires, one of the greatest safety risks present.

Dorm fires (and related injuries) typically occur in common areas, including communal kitchens, where students tend to be careless. College students tend to misuse cooking appliances, and overloading extension cords and electrical circuits.

When alcohol is involved, dorm fires can become fatal.

Dormitory Fire Safety Systems

Dormitories should be equipped with the same fire protection devices as other buildings:

  • A well installed and maintained fire sprinkler systems
  • A fire alarm system that sounds throughout the dorm
  • Fire extinguishers at 75ft intervals

How to Protect Students from Dorm Fires

  • Hold regular fire drills and treat them like the real thing.
  • Make sure students know two ways out of every room in the building.
  • Make sure students are aware of the items they should keep in their dorm rooms, such as a flashlight, that can help them evacuate in the event of a fire.
  • Make it clear what electrical appliances are allowed in dorm rooms.
  • Have students view an educational film about how quickly dorm rooms can burn. This should encourage them take seriously fire safety issues, like fire drills, evacuation plans, and smoke detectors.
  • Keep the issue of dorm fires fresh in the students minds. The last thing you want is for a student to stay in bed because they believe it’s another false alarm!

If you need to update a fire safety system in a dormitory in New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia, call Confires today.

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