Fire Safety Tips
Dormitory Specific Tips
- Make sure you can hear the alarm system when you are in your dorm room.
- Never tamper with or cover up the smoke detectors in any room or corridor.
- Learn your buildings evacuation plan and practice all drills as if they were the real thing.
- When the fire alarm sounds, get out of the building and stay out.
- Fires in dorms are more common during the evening hours, between 5-11 pm and on weekends.
- Keep an eye on your cooking and stay in the kitchen. Unattended pots and pans are the #1 cause of cooking fires. Roughly 5 out of 6 fires in dormitories are started by cooking.
- Cook only when you are alert, not sleepy or drowsy from medicine or alcohol.
- Clean cooking surfaces frequently to prevent food and grease build up.
- Do not disable smoke alarms/detectors because of nuisance alarms caused by cooking fumes.
To Extinguish a Cooking Fire
- Slide a pan lid over the flames to smother a grease or oil fire, then turn off the heat and leave the lid in place until the pan cools. Never carry the pan outside.
- Extinguish other food fires with baking soda. Never use water or flour on cooking fires.
- Keep the oven door shut and turn off the heat to smother an oven or broiler fire.
Electrical Hazard Tips
- Do not overload extension cords, power strips or outlets. They all can overheat causing them to deteriorate quickly and become a potential shock or fire hazard.
- Only use power strips with an overcurrent device which will shut off the power if too much current is drawn.
- Never use multi-plug, cube adapters or any other unfused power strips.
- Never cut off the grounding pin or use cheater plugs to adapt to 2 prong outlets. Doing so eliminates the grounding feature and in turn provides a greater potential for shock.
- Never connect one power strip to another (daisy chained) or an extension cord to a power strip or another extension cord. Power strips and extension cords should be directly connected to a wall receptacle.
- Appliances such as toasters / ovens, microwaves, refrigerators etc. should be directly connected to a wall receptacle, not into power strips.
- An extension cord can power only one device temporarily. Only use extension cords which are rated for the appliance or device they are supplying power to.
- Do not route cords under doors or carpets. Cords can short circuit, overheat and ignite if they are buried under carpet subject to foot traffic or if they have furniture resting on and pinching them.
- Only use light bulbs with the correct wattage rating for the lamp. All UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed lamps have wattage specifications near the bulb socket indicating what size bulb is the maximum recommended. For most modern lamps there is a maximum rating for incandescent and CFL (Compact Fluorescent) bulbs. If no indication is on the lamp as to the maximum wattage requirements, do not use a bulb rated for more than 60 watts.