The school year has begun, and whether you live in on or off-campus housing, safety should be your first priority. As students are still getting comfortable with their routines, there is a higher risk of accidents occurring in student housing. Student safety should remain a top priority on campuses, both on and off-campus and even online.
According to The Highland County Press, cooking equipment was involved in almost nine out of 10 reported dormitory fires. As someone who just had a fire alarm go off at 9 p.m. in their student apartment, I can testify that fires are no joke and college students don’t really know how to cook–myself included. The Highland County Press also noted that September and October have recorded the highest number of dormitory fires, which makes sense. Students are finally embracing their freedom and learning the ropes of living more independently, and there will be some road bumps.
This is why it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure your, your roommate’s, and your neighbor’s safety. If you don’t, you could cause a lot of damage and rack up a hefty bill–in only four years, the U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,840 structure fires in dormitory-like properties which resulted in roughly $11 million in property damage.
How to Avoid a Fire Disaster
It may seem like an obvious safety tip, but being aware is one simple way to protect yourself from accidentally starting a fire. Once you’ve settled and all moved in, double-check your floor plan for fire safety and locate your nearest fire extinguisher. This can be helpful in the event something does happen.
You should also ensure that your outlets aren’t overloaded. If there are too many plugs on one outlet, you can cause an electrical fire from a single spark. Investing in a suitable extension cord and unplugging things you aren’t actively using can protect you and your room from damage.
More often than not, residence hall fires start in the kitchen. Don’t be a careless cook. Set timers for when you need to take something out of the oven and double-check that you turn everything off before you leave the kitchen area. Whether it’s your own kitchen or a community one, leaving appliances on can lead to a fire. It’s also essential to clean up after yourself. Don’t leave flammable items lying around your appliances as you cook.
At the end of the day, accidents will happen, so it’s important to consider what you can do to help minimize the damages and prevent them from happening. Hope you have a happy–and safe–back-to-school season!
Joining the team for a second year, Morgan is a sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School in Downtown Phoenix for ASU Barrett Honor College. She’s a native Arizonian, and taking after her dad, she loves writing and art of all mediums. Morgan is excited to gain new experiences through her second summer as an intern at GradGuard and form new relationships with the GradGuard team.