New Canaan Fire Marshal: Fire Safety at College


Many young people are heading off to college – some for the first time. It is a time of big change for first-time collegians beginning the next stage in their lives. Fire safety is probably the last thing that families are thinking about as they head off to college but it is very important. Even more critical is “off-campus” housing that may not be covered by campus housing rules.

Fire Marshal Paul Payne. Credit: Michael Dinan

The New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office would like to offer important fire safety tips to help keep these students safe:

  • Ensure that each sleeping room is equipped with operable smoke detectors. 
  • Candles are a leading cause of campus fires – never burn candles or other open flame devices in dorm rooms or common areas. 
  • Never use extension cords in place of proper, permanent wiring. 
  • If given the choice, opt for a dorm/living quarters equipped with automatic fire sprinkler systems. 
  • Know all ways out of your room/dorm and, where each exit discharges.  Take a few minutes to walk the routes to familiarize yourself. 
  • Always follow all directions and guidelines of the school and participate in fire drills as directed. 
  • Learn your address so if you have to call 911 on your cell phone you can give the proper location. 
  • Learn the location of fire alarm pull stations and the sound of the alarm system. 
  • Never cook in your room, cooking related issues are another common cause of dorm fires. 

The New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office wishes all young adults heading off to new frontiers a happy and safe future. 

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