Purdue University

Spring break is quickly approaching and that means that college campuses will be emptying for a short period of time. It’s best now to brush up on some campus fire safety tips, so they can be implemented when the school year resumes. College is the first time for many young adults being on their own. Having many major responsibilities thrust onto a young adult, suddenly, can be a bit jarring. Understanding that these responsibilities will help you move forward into adult-hood is very important. Knowing some of these statistics is an important motivator for being fire safety conscious while on campus. There were an estimated 3,870 structure fires per year responded to by fire departments in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks from 2009-2013. On college campuses from 2000-2015, 126 people were killed by 89 fires, in off-campus or Greek housing, within 3 miles of the campus. A large portion of the structure fires from 2009-2013 involved cooking equipment (86%). Here are 12 campus fire safety tips:

  1. If you have a laptop or computer, use a surge protector. This will prevent any potential fires from breaking out and keep your machine safe, should there be a power surge.
  2. Make sure to abide by the rules of your school when using electrical appliances. If you are forbidden from using space heaters, do not use one. The rules exist for a reason; your safety.
  3. Do not cook if you are drowsy, especially from medicine or alcohol.
  4. Be attentive to what you are cooking. Remain in the kitchen.
  5. Cook ONLY in permitted cooking areas.
  6. Do not use candles during a power outage. Use a flashlight.
  7. If you hear the smoke alarm, get out of the building as quickly as possible. Do not return until given the ‘go-ahead’ by the relevant authorities (firefighter or school administrator).
  8. Conduct monthly tests on all smoke alarms, and never remove the batteries or disable them.
  9. Make sure smoke alarms are installed in the following places; bedrooms, outside sleeping areas, on each level.
  10. College housing should have fire sprinklers.
  11. When using a barbeque or something similar, check with your local fire department to make sure there are not restrictions.
  12. Most importantly, make sure you know your building’s evacuation plan and practice all the drills. This way, should anything go wrong, you will be well-prepared for the situation.


While in college, there is enough going on where you may neglect fire safety and see it as just a nuisance. It is a mistake to do that. Making sure these 12 campus fire safety tips are adhered to is something which should be high on your priority list. Live your college years in safety and security, and don’t become a part of the campus fire death statistic. Click here for more information about campus fire safety.