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College fire safety

Protecting College Students from Fire

Every campus related fire death in the past 5 years nationwide has been in off-campus housing. In Massachusetts, two students died in off-campus housing fires in the last 5 years. Students need working smoke alarms and two ways out of any place they live. 

For Parents

Don't let your student sleep for a single night in housing without smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These are required by law. For the price of a pizza, you can buy and install working smoke alarms to give students early warning of danger.

For more information, visit Campus Firewatch and learn about the See It Before You Sign It campaign which encourages you to inspect any apartment your child will live in before signing a lease.

Download this checklist from Campus Firewatch to help inspect any apartment your child wants to live in.

Use this Student Renters Guide to know your student's rights as a tenant in Massachusetts (from the Attorney General of MA).

Additional Resources for For Parents

For Students and RAs

  • Don't sleep for a single night in housing without smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These are required by law. For the price of a pizza, you can buy and install working smoke alarms to have early warning of danger.
  • Always know two ways out of every room in case of fire. 
  • When an alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Call 9-1-1 from outdoors.

Students are responsible for maintaining safety in their housing:

  • Never disable smoke or CO alarms.
  • Do not hang things from sprinkler systems.
  • Do not block doors or windows.

More information about campus fire safety:

Use this Student Renters Guide to know your rights as a tenant in Massachusetts (from the Attorney General of MA).

Additional Resources for For Students and RAs

For College Administrators and Fire Educators

College administrators and fire educators can encourage on- and off-campus fire safety. Use the following resources to promote fire and life safety education.

Community Service Projects —  The Michael H. Minger Foundation has a community service project program where students work alongside fire departments doing home safety visits. Materials include videos, handouts and an outline about running the program.

Tip-A-Day — During September, @campusfirewatch tweets fire safety information for schools and local officials to use in their Twitter feeds.

Monthly Themes — Each month, Campus FireWatch has a campus-related fire safety theme. Use the information to make fire safety a year-round issue.

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