Campus fire safety: three tips to stay safe when studying abroad

Blog Post created by lisamariesinatra Employee on Sep 13, 2017

college fire safety, study abroad


September is Campus Fire Safety Month and NFPA and The Center for Campus Fire Safety (The Center) are working together to help raise awareness of the dangers of fires among college-aged students who live in on- and off-campus housing.During this second week of our “Campus Fire Safety for Students” campaign, we want to focus on fire safety for students studying abroad.


In 2011, a fast-moving fire swept through a building in Paris that killed four people and injured many others. Three of the victims were students studying abroad. The building where they lived had no smoke alarms, no fire escapes, and only narrow wooden stairwells that became overcrowded and impassable in the fire.

When it comes to college students, including those traveling and studying abroad, we can't emphasize safety enough. Other countries approach fire safety and public education differently, according to a column in the January/February 2017 NFPA Journal issue called, Fire Safety Abroad. It's on us to understand these differences and take the appropriate steps to help ensure the safety of our young adults when they go overseas.Three of these tips include:

• Take a couple of battery-operated smoke alarms with you and place them in the apartment
• Try and live on a low floor so you can be reached by a fire truck ladder
• Choose a residence made of brick or stone rather than wood and with unobstructed windows

As students apply for and prepare for semester abroad programs, review these simple but lifesaving measures. As a fire safety educator or parent, take the time to talk to your student(s) about the risks and the steps they can take to stay safe from fire while away from home. 

Learn more about the campaign and get additional resources like checklists and our student-to student checklist at and