NFPA, Campus Firewatch, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) have long been advocates for fire safety on college campuses and this year we’re teaming up again to promote "See It Before You Sign It", a campaign aimed at parents and college students to raise awareness about off-campus housing fire hazards.
Having fire safety measures in place in the home or apartment is often overlooked by students who are often more interested in finding housing that is inexpensive, close to campus or provides them with their own bedroom. The "See It Before You Sign It" campaign is a great way for parents to bridge that knowledge gap and take a more active role in helping their loved ones choose secure, fire-safe housing.
Action steps to consider include:
• Using a checklist on move-in day to help ensure there are working smoke alarms and two ways out of the house, especially if you’re not able to view the property before the lease is signed
• Installing smoke alarms on move-in day, if the unit does not have them
• Purchasing an escape ladder If the rental is on an upper floor and the second way out is a window
The campaign is also a great resource for students who plan to study abroad for the summer or during a future semester. As parents, many of us may not be aware of the differences between the U.S. and other countries in terms of public education and fire safety. Learning more about these differences is key in keeping our students as safe as possible when they’re far away from home.
Whether your student is attending college nearby or across the ocean, having that important conversation about fire risk and taking action helps ensure our loved ones are safer should a fire occur. Find all of our great campaign resources including off-campus and dorm fire safety tips, infographics, social media messages, videos and checklists on Campus Firewatch, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, U.S. Fire Administration and NFPA websites. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter at #OffCampusFire.
Are you involved in campus fire safety activities where you work? Or maybe you have a story you want to share about your experience looking for off-campus housing? Let us know. We'd love to hear how you're helping advance this very important safety mission, and how we can help!