Maryland Fire Marshal Names September “Campus Fire Safety Month” - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Fire Marshal Names September “Campus Fire Safety Month”

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By Joseph Edwards

STATEWIDE- With the start of a new semester, the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal is warning college students, new and old, about the dangers of fire with its announcement of September as Campus Fire Safety Month.

State Fire Marshal Brian S Geraci is encouraging students to be more aware of their living spaces to make sure the student homes are fire safe environments.

"Unfortunately, most college students do not fully appreciate how quickly a fire can grow out of control," Geraci says. "Studies have shown you have an average of three minutes from when the first smoke alarm sounds to escape the effects of fire. Students need to realize they are not invincible, fires do happen in campus related settings, and they can take proactive steps to protect themselves no matter where they live."

With the Campus Fire Safety Month announcement comes some tips and reminders for students from the Office of State Fire Marshal:

  • Look for fully sprinklered housing when choosing a dorm or off-campus housing.
  • Make sure your dormitory or apartment has smoke alarms inside each  bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on each level.
  • Test all smoke alarms on a monthly basis.
  • Never remove batteries or disable the alarm.
  • Learn your building's evacuation plan and practice all drills as if they were the real thing.
  • If you live off campus, have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.
  • When the smoke alarm or fire alarm sounds, get out of the building quickly and stay out.
  • During a power outage, use a flashlight.
  • Cook only where it is permitted
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
  • Cook only when you are alert, not sleepy or drowsy from medicine or alcohol.
  • Check with your local fire department for any restrictions before using a barbecue grill, fire pit, or chimenea.
  • Check your school's rules before using electrical appliances in your room.
  • Use a surge protector for your computer and plug the protector directly into an outlet.

For more information about campus fire safety, visit www.campusfiresafety.org .

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