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IT’S A DISASTER! ...and what are YOU gonna do about it? is a unique customizable disaster preparedness and basic first aid manual for agencies, businesses, volunteers, nonprofits and others to help whole communities prepare for the unexpected. Learn more

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USFRA Resources

About Us

Created by Fyre Walker Apr 11, 2008 at 6:20am. Last updated by Cam Mitchell Nov 6, 2017.

Civilian Fire Safety Links

Created by Fyre Walker Aug 6, 2009 at 4:29pm. Last updated by David Pence Aug 10, 2017.

Civilian Health and Wellness

Created by Fyre Walker Mar 10, 2010 at 6:48pm. Last updated by Fyre Walker Oct 24, 2013.

Civilian Kid Fire and Life Safety Links

Created by Fyre Walker Feb 8, 2011 at 12:19pm. Last updated by Fyre Walker May 1, 2018.

Civilian Life Safety Links

Created by Fyre Walker Jul 19, 2011 at 12:50am. Last updated by Cam Mitchell Jul 6, 2014.

EMS Links

Created by Fyre Walker Jul 26, 2009 at 3:07pm. Last updated by Tony Thomas Jun 14, 2018.

EVO - Emergency Vehicle Operations

Created by Cam Mitchell Jan 24, 2013 at 10:38am. Last updated by Cam Mitchell Jan 24, 2013.

FIRE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Created by Fyre Walker Mar 18, 2009 at 2:32pm. Last updated by Allison McCullough Mar 13, 2018.

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Created by Fyre Walker Mar 21, 2012 at 11:00am. Last updated by Tony Thomas Apr 12, 2017.

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Created by Fyre Walker Aug 6, 2009 at 9:22pm. Last updated by Tony Thomas May 7, 2018.

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Military Links

Created by Fyre Walker Jun 24, 2009 at 9:49am. Last updated by Allison McCullough Aug 26, 2016.

THANK YOU SONG

Karen Loveless is a retired Firefighter/EMT -- now a professional songwriter. She wrote this song for all public servants...Thank You For The Job You Do!" click below to listen and learn more

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ST. CLOUD FIRE RESCUE FIREFIGHTERS OUTFITTED WITH BALLISTIC VESTS

Started by Fyre Walker in Fire News Mar 30. 0 Replies

According to a press release sent out on March 7, 2019, by the City of St. Cloud Fire Rescue Department, all …Continue

Firefighter Natalie Dempsey - Mizpah Volunteer Fire Company - Mizpah, New Jersey

Started by Fyre Walker in Fire LODD Mar 11. 0 Replies

Natalie DempseyFirefighterMizpah Volunteer Fire CompanyMizpah, New JerseyFirefighter Natalie Dempsey was responding to the…Continue

Fire Chief Robert Lee "Bobby" Dunaway - Howell Volunteer Fire Department - Lucedale, Mississippi

Started by Fyre Walker in Fire LODD Mar 11. 0 Replies

Robert Lee "Bobby" DunawayFire ChiefHowell Volunteer Fire DepartmentLucedale, MississippiWhile working his third call of the…Continue

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5.11 Tactical Kilts are Back

Each year college and university students, on- and off-campus, experience hundreds of fire-related emergencies nationwide. There are several specific causes for fires on college campuses, including cooking, intentionally set fires, and open flame. Overall, most college-related fires are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. According to information complied by Campus FireWatch, the great majority of student fire deaths occur in off-campus housing that lacks insufficient exits, missing or inoperative smoke alarms, and automatic fire sprinklers. Also, use of candles, careless smoking habits, and the misuse of alcohol—which impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts —contribute to off-campus housing fire deaths.

As the Fall semester approaches, colleges and universities are busy preparing for the arrival of new residents to their campus communities. Some will be first year students moving into the residence halls. Other arriving students will be moving off-campus and living on their own, some for the first time. For most of these students, the last fire safety training they received was in grade school; but with new independence comes new responsibilities. It is important that both off-campus and on-campus students understand fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives.

Learn the facts about campus fire safety and be fire-wise!

Campus-Related Fire Fatalities from January 2000 to Present

Occupancy Deaths Percent of Total
Off-Campus 124 85
Residence Hall 10 7
Greek Housing 10 7
Other 2 1
Total 146  

Annual Number of Fatalities by Academic Year

2000-2001 17
2001-2002 15
2002-2003 14
2003-2004 12
2004-2005 14
2005-2006 11
2006-2007 20
2007-2008 18
2008-2009 6
2009-2010 5
2010-2011 6

Source: Campus Firewatch (PDF, 153 Kb, Adobe Acrobat Help)

Safety Tips for Students

Candles

Cooking

  • Cook only where it is permitted.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and uncluttered.
  • If you use electric appliances, don't overload circuits.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.
  • Learn About Cooking Fire Safety »

Smoking

  • If you smoke, smoke outside.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • After a party, check for cigarette butts, especially under cushions. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast.
  • Be alert - don't smoke in bed! If you are sleepy or have been drinking, put your cigarette out first.

Escape Planning

  • If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.
  • Before opening a door, feel the door. If it's hot, use your second way out.
  • Use the stairs; never use an elevator during a fire.
  • If you're trapped, call the fire department and tell them where you are. Seal your door with rags and signal from your window. Open windows slightly at the top and bottom; shut them if smoke rushes in from any direction.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.

Off-Campus Fire Safety

Good Questions to Ask Before Moving in or Signing a Lease

  1. Are working smoke alarms installed? (Preferably in each bedroom, interconnected to sound all if any one detects smoke)
  2. Are there at least two ways to exit your bedroom and your building?
  3. Do the upper floors of the building have at least two interior stairs, or a fire escape?
  4. Is a sprinkler system installed and maintained?
  5. Are the existing electrical outlets adequate for all of the appliances and equipment that you are bringing – without the need for extension cords?
  6. Are there EXIT signs in the building hallways to indicate accessible escape routes?
  7. Does the building have a fire alarm system installed and maintained?
  8. Has the buildings heating system been inspected recently (in the last year)?
  9. Is the building address clearly posted to allow emergency services to find you quickly in the event of an emergency?
  10. Does the sprinkler system or fire alarm system send a signal to the local fire department or campus security?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are approximately 18,000,000 students enrolled in 4,100 colleges and universities across the country. Approximately two-thirds of the students live in off-campus housing.

There are four common factors in a number of these fires:

  • Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
  • Missing or disabled smoke alarms
  • Careless disposal of smoking materials
  • Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption

Off-Campus Fire Tragedy: Julie Turnbull

Doug and Linda Turnbull lost their daughter, Julie, in an off-campus house fire one month before her 22nd birthday and college graduation. Watch the Video on Campus Firewatch

On-Campus Fire Safety

In cases where fire fatalities have occurred on college campuses, alcohol was a factor. There is a strong link between alcohol and fire deaths. Alcohol abuse often impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts.

Many other factors contribute to the problem of dormitory housing fires including:

  • Improper use of 911 notification systems delays emergency response.
  • Student apathy is prevalent. Many are unaware that fire is a risk or threat in the environment.
  • Evacuation efforts are hindered since fire alarms are often ignored.
  • Building evacuations are delayed due to lack of preparation and preplanning.
  • Vandalized and improperly maintained smoke alarms and fire alarm systems inhibit early detection of fires.
  • Misuse of cooking appliances, overloaded electrical circuits, and extension cords increase the risk of fires.

Safety Precautions for Colleges and Universities

  • Provide students with a program for fire safety and prevention.
  • Teach students how to properly notify the fire department using the 911 system.
  • Install smoke alarms in every dormitory room and every level of housing facilities.
  • Maintain and regularly test smoke alarms and fire alarm systems. Replace smoke alarm batteries every semester.
  • Regularly inspect rooms and buildings for fire hazards. Ask your local fire department for assistance.
  • Inspect exit doors and windows and make sure they are working properly.
  • Create and update detailed floor plans of buildings, and make them available to emergency personnel, resident advisors and students.
  • Conduct fire drills and practice escape routes and evacuation plans. Urge students to take each alarm seriously.
  • Make sure electrical outlets are not overloaded and extension cords are used properly.
  • Learn to properly use and maintain heating and cooking appliances.

On-Campus Residence Hall Fire: The Dana Christmas Story

On January 19, 2000, a fire occurred at Seton Hall University that killed three freshmen. Dana Christmas was a resident assistant at the building where the fire broke out. Watch the Video on Campus Firewatch

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