OLYMPIA – Living in a college dorm can be a fun experience, but fire safety should always be taken serious no matter where you are living. Last year in Washington State, there were over 800 fire incidents that involved college campus dormitories with a dollar loss of over $11 million. Fires in dormitories are more common during the evening hours and weekends, usually occurring between the hours of 5-11 p.m.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office encourages college students living away from home to take a few minutes to ensure that they are living in a fire-safe environment by:
• Making sure the dorm room has working smoke alarms.
• Testing and maintaining smoke alarms in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
• Never removing batteries or disable smoke alarms.
• Knowing two ways out from each room and dormitory building, and practicing a fire escape plan.
• Talking to roommates to determine a safe place to meet outside the building in case of a fire.
• Clearing exits, hallways, and stairs so they are not blocked if there is a need to leave quickly.
• Leaving quickly whenever the fire or smoke alarm sounds. Spending time retrieving items increases the chances of being trapped. Leave everything and go.
• Staying in the kitchen whenever cooking, and only cook when alert. Do not cook when sleepy or drowsy from drugs or alcohol.
• Never leave burning candles unattended.
• Checking with school’s policies and rules before using any electrical appliances in sleeping room.
For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-596-3929.
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