Training groups who come to Fort Huachuca to learn, live in the same type of atmosphere as at other college campuses across the country. The same kind of fire safety rules apply for students living on Fort Huachuca as those living on other campuses.
Each year college and university students, on- and off-campus, experience hundreds of fire-related emergencies nationwide. There are several specific causes for fires on college campuses, including cooking, intentionally set fires and open flame. Overall, most college-related fires are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention.
For most students, the last fire safety training they received was in grade school, but with new independence come new responsibilities. It is important that both off-campus and on-campus students understand fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives.
Since January 2000 until now, 79 fatal fires have been documented that occurred on a college campus, in fraternity or sorority housing or in off-campus housing within three miles of the campus — claiming a total of 114 victims.
Sixty-six fires have occurred in off-campus housing.
Seven fires taking nine lives have occurred in on-campus building or residence halls.
Ten victims died in six fires in fraternity or sorority housing.
Fourteen of these fires claiming 22 victims were intentionally set.
There were 35 accidental fires including those caused by cooking, candles, smoking or electrical causes, claiming 47 lives.
The cause has not been determined in 30 of these fires.
Many students cook in dorms or other lodging. When preparing food, cook only where it is permitted, and keep the cooking area clean and uncluttered.
Don’t overload circuits with electrical appliance cords. Never leave cooking unattended. If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.
Many students like to burn candles. Avoid using lighted candles. Instead, choose battery operated ones with flames that mimic lit candles. Those who use real candles should not leave them unattended. Keep them away from draperies and linens.
Smoking is another leading cause of fires. Those who smoke should do so outdoors. Once finished, assure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
After a party, check for cigarette butts, especially under cushions. Chairs and sofas catch on fire quickly and burn fast.
Be alert — don’t smoke in bed. If feeling sleepy from any cause, put cigarettes out safely before retiring.
For additional college and university fire safety tips, call the Fort Huachuca Fire Prevention Office, 533.7009.