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Campus Fire Safety

A lesson every college student should learn

As college and university students make their treks to campuses nationwide, it is imperative that they first learn about electrical safety. Safe Electricity urges everyone to make sure their college-bound students take precautions to prevent and protect themselves from campus-related fires and shocks.

Safety steps to prevent and reduce the risk of electrical fires in student housing include:

  • Purchase and use only electrical appliances and power cords which have been tested by UL and other nationally recognized testing labs.
  • Do not overload extension cords, power strips or outlets.
  • Never use extension cords on a continuous basis; they serve as temporary solutions only.
  • Use power strips with an over-current protector that will shut off power automatically if there is too much current being drawn.
  • Never tack or nail an electrical cord to any surface, or run cords across traffic paths, under rugs or furniture.
  • Use light bulbs with the correct wattage for lamps; if no indication is on the fixture, do not use a bulb with more than 60 watts. Always keep halogen lamps away from curtains, loose bedding, or other fabrics.
  • Keep all electrical appliances and cords safely away from bedding, curtains and other flammable material.
  • Make sure outlets around sinks are GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) equipped. 
  • Unplug small household appliances when not in use and all electronics when away for extended periods.

Older wiring in student housing and apartments may not be able to handle the increased electrical demand of today’s college student. If use of an appliance frequently causes power to trip off, or if its power cord or the outlet feels hot, disconnect the appliance immediately and report the condition to the landlord or campus housing staff.

A fire escape plan is essential. It is important that students know evacuation procedures and emergency exit locations in the event of a fire. OKL Article End