Fire Safety for Kids Heading Off to College

September 11, 2020

If you’re setting up a college or university student in their dorm room or apartment, it’s a good idea to keep some basic fire safety rules in mind.​​​​​​Working smoke alarms are the law.

  • The dorm room or apartment must have working smoke alarms. They should be tested monthly and any problems reported immediately to landlords. CO detectors are a must if any natural gas heating or appliances are used.
  • Have an escape plan. Know two ways out of your room or apartment in case of fire. The best way to remember in an emergency is to practice it.
  • Electrical fires are very common. If they are allowed in your room, toasters, coffee makers, hot plates and microwaves should be plugged directly into an outlet and only one appliance per outlet. Do not use extension cords or outlet extenders.
  • Reduce the risk of cooking fires, these are the leading cause of burns. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially if using oil at high temperatures. Have a properly fitting lid handy to slide over the pot and turn off the stove if a fire occurs.
  • Be careful with candles. If you do insist on using candles in your room or apartment, keep them away from anything that can burn and place them in a safe, sturdy holder. Before you go out, blow it out! Ideally don’t use them.
  • Tobacco use, cannabis use and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to fires and serious injuries. Intoxication is a common factor in many fire deaths involving cooking and smoking. If you smoke, do so outside. Keep a large can with water nearby so cigarette butts can be safely discarded. If you drink, do so responsibly.
  • Clear the clutter! Keep things that burn away from heat sources like stovetops, space heaters and electronics.
  • Disasters strike year round in Alberta. Students need to be equipped too. Create a mini 72 hour kit including battery-powered lantern or flashlight, a radio and extra batteries, prescriptions, food and water.

Fill out this checklist   to ensure your dorm is fire safe.  

Stay safe and happy studying.