Fire Safety and Your Students College Experience

As Summer comes to a close, thousands of young people and their parents are getting prepared to head off to being or continue their adult lives in college. Many will house in an apartment, while the majority will settle inside a University dormitory. While this is an exciting time for college students and their parents, there are some issues to be aware of and to ask about!

When moving your student into his/her dorm room, there are several fire safety questions that should be asked to your RA (resident advisor) or dormitory director to ensure your child’s safety during their upcoming semester. Here are a few GREAT questions you or your child can/should ask.

  1. Does each room have its own smoke detector?

    The answer should be a resounding “yes”. Your College or University should also be able to provide the last completed service date of all the dormitory alarms should you want to know that information.
  2. Are the dormitory hallways and common recreation areas equipped with a fire sprinkler system?

    Again, the answer should be “yes”. Again, service dates should be accessible to you should you want to know that information.
  3. How many fires have occurred on campus within the last year? Five years?

    Colleges and Universities are required to keep a record of incidents that occur on campus, along with the details surrounding the incident. Do not be afraid to ask, it is your right.
  4. What are the consequences of a false alarm if the fire alarm is pulled by a dormitory resident?

    It is not unheard of for a student to pull an alarm in the middle of the night all in the name of FUN…right? WRONG—Be sure your campus doesn’t take these incidents lightly and has proper rules and regulations for deterring these types of behaviors.
  5. How often are fire safety inspections performed on campus?

    Inspections of all equipment should be done either quarterly or bi-annually depending on the equipment being tested.

  6. What items are banned from the residence hall to avoid the risk of fire?

    Ask specifically about candles, halogen lamps, electric burners and smoking.


If you have any other tips, leave them in the comments below!

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