by Jennie Novak and Grant Lobdell
As much of this country heads back to school, it is important to consider the fire protection systems in the classrooms and dorms across this country.
Campus fire safety by the numbers according to National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA)
• From 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 4,100 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and other related properties. These fires caused annual averages of 35 civilian injuries and $14 million in direct property damage.1
• From 2000 - present, 92 fatal fires have been documented that occurred on a college campus, in Greek housing, or in off-campus housing within 3-miles of the campus – claiming a total of 132 victims.2
• From January 2000 – May 2015 smoke alarms were either missing or tampered with (disconnected or battery removed) in 58 percent of fatal campus fires.3
In College Campus Fire Safety Tips, NFPA’s first tip is to look for fully sprinklered housing.4 Fire sprinklers save lives but only if properly inspected, tested, and maintained. Whereas routine annual inspection and maintenance becomes a habit for many building owners and fire protection contractors, periodical testing can often be overlooked. According to the current edition of NFPA 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection, sprinklers are required to either be replaced or tested based on the following time frames:
Are the sprinklers on your local college campuses due for testing? As we approach this year’s National Fire Prevention Week, we are reminded that fires can happen anywhere and how important it is that we all make an effort in our fire prevention. To help get the conversation started, we’ve put together sprinkler testing frequently asked questions that you can pass along to your local university’s campus safety, maintenance, or facilities management departments.
May everyone have a safe and productive school year!
1 Campell, Richard. “Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks.” (2017, August). NFPA. Retrieved September 29th, 2018. https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Fire-statistics/Fires-by-property-type/Residential/Dormitories-fraternities-sororities-and-barracks
2 “Fire Fatality Stats.” (2018, September). The Center for Campus Fire Safety. Retrieved September 29th, 2018. http://www.campusfiresafety.org/Resources/Fire-Fatality-Stats
3 “Fire Prevention Week” (2018). US Fire Administration. Retrieved September 29th, 2018. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/fpw.html
4 “College Campus Fire Safety” (2017). NFPA. Retrieved September 29th, 2018. https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/CampusSafetyTips.pdf
©Dyne Fire Protection Labs 2018