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Fire Safety for College Students

For most students, the last fire safety training they received was in grade school, but with new independence comes new responsibilities. It is important that both off-campus and on-campus students know their fire risks and prevention actions that could save their lives.

There are several specific causes for fires in on- and off-campus college housing, including cooking, candles, smoking and overloaded power strips.

Did you know:

Approximately 25% of all campus fire fatalities follow a party.

Keep college students safe from on- and off-campus housing fires. Explore these materials to learn more about discussing fire safety with students, their parents, and campus housing administrators and staff.

Messages to share with students


Place candles in sturdy holders.
Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Keep candles away from anything that can burn.
Use safe flameless candles.


Cook only where it is allowed.
Keep your cooking area clean and free of anything that can burn.
Keep an eye on what you are cooking, especially if you are cooking at high temperatures.
If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.

Electrical safety

Keep lamps, light fixtures and lightbulbs away from anything that can burn.
Never use an extension cord with large appliances like a refrigerator.
Don't overload outlets.
Use only surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection.


Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
Use deep, wide ashtrays. Place ashtrays on something sturdy and hard to burn.
After a party, check for cigarette butts, especially under cushions. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast.
Don’t smoke when you have been drinking or are drowsy.

Messages to share with colleges and universities

Provide students with a program for fire safety and prevention.
Teach students how to properly notify the fire department using the 911 system.
Install smoke alarms and an automatic fire sprinkler system in every dormitory room and every level of housing facilities.
Maintain and regularly test smoke alarms and fire alarm systems. Replace smoke alarm batteries every semester.
Regularly inspect rooms and buildings for fire hazards. Ask your local fire department for assistance.
Inspect exit doors and windows and make sure they are working properly.
Create and update detailed floor plans of buildings, and make them available to emergency personnel, resident advisors and students.
Conduct fire drills and practice escape routes and evacuation plans. Urge students to take each alarm seriously.

Social media graphics and stock photos

card: campus candles


campus fire safety flyer

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campus fire safety flyers

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