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September is “Campus Fire Safety Month”

The month of September has been designated as “Campus Fire Safety Month”.  This is a national response to the increasing number of fire related emergencies on college and university campuses.  There are many causes of fires, but most are the result of a lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention.  The majority of college students have not had fire safety education since elementary school and this action is an effort to raise fire and life safety awareness.  The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following information for those away from home as well as the public in general.

Fire is fast.  It can occur quickly and time is the biggest enemy.  It is important to get out immediately as heavy black smoke can fill an area in minutes and a small fire can get out of control in as little as 30 seconds.  Have an escape plan and practice it; know two ways out of every room.

Fire is hot.  Stay low to the ground and cover your mouth and nose, with a damp cloth if possible, to help you breathe.  The heat from a fire can kill or damage your lungs.

Fire is dark.  It begins as a bright glow, but causes smoke and eventually darkness which can cause disorientation.

Fire is deadly.  A fire will consume the oxygen and emit toxic smoke and gas.  There are more deaths due to gas and smoke than fire itself.  When in a safe place, phone 911.

To help reduce and prevent the loss of life and property, simple precautions can be taken.  Install smoke alarms and test them on a regular basis.  Do not overload electrical outlets and replace electrical cords when frayed.  Keep rooms and work areas tidy.  Never leave food unattended when cooking.  Extinguish candles when leaving a room or when no longer needed.  Be aware that structure fires in campus housing are more common during the hours of 5 -11 pm and on weekends.  A few simple precautions can save lives and property.

Please contact the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office, 355 Boston Post Road, (203) 891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm for any fire safety or fire prevention questions or for free Carbon Monoxide alarms which are available to Orange residents.

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