New Canaan Fire Marshal Issues Safety Tips for College-Bound Residents


New Canaan officials are urging college-bound residents to keep fire safety in mind as they head off to live on their own, often for the first time in their lives.

According to Fire Marshal Fred Baker, fire safety may be the last thing that families are thinking about during this exciting time of year, with teens headed off to school.

“However, Fire Safety is very important—even more so—in dorms or apartment buildings with hundreds of young students,” Baker said in a press release. “Even more critical is ‘off-campus’ housing that may not be covered by campus housing rules as we were so vividly reminded by the tragic fire at Marist College in Poughkeepsie a few years ago.”

Here’s a list of fire safety tips from Baker:

  • 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 and 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.  Actually take a few minutes to walk the routes to familiarize yourself.
  • In High-rise buildings, always have a means of re-entering your apartment if the hall becomes untenable (have room keys ready to go).
  • 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’ is another common cause of dorm fires.

If you have further questions regarding fire safety please call the New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-594-3030.

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