The Hamden Fire Department and the Senior Class Cabinet of the Student Government Association at Quinnipiac University sponsored a program Nov. 11 to educate the university community about the importance of fire safety.
The event, which took place on Quinnipiac’s York Hill Campus, featured fire extinguisher training and a controlled fire of a residence hall room that was specially constructed for the event by the Facilities Department at Quinnipiac.
“I think the most important takeaway from this event was to let students know that everyone should be cognizant of the danger of fire and how quickly it spreads,” said Hamden Fire Chief David Berardesca. “The demonstration was almost certainly an awakening for many students about just how quickly a fire can spread. We want them to know it’s their responsibility to be conscious of fire safety and how to keep themselves safe, more importantly.”
The Hamden Fire Department has offered fire safety training to Quinnipiac students for several years now and Chief Berardesca believes it has made a difference.
“The low number of incidents of fire on Quinnipiac’s campuses is a testament of how well the university and its students respect fire safety,” Chief Berardesca said. “We’re glad to offer this program each year.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, college students living away from home should take a few minutes to make sure they are living in a fire-safe environment. The NFPA offers the following safety tips:
- Look for places that have full sprinklers when choosing a residence hall or off-campus housing.
- Make sure your residence hall or apartment has smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on each level. For the best protection, all smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when one sounds they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least monthly.
- Never remove batteries or disable the alarm.
- Learn your building’s evacuation plan and practice all drills as if they were the real thing.
- If you live off campus, have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.
- When the smoke alarm or fire alarm sounds, get out of the building quickly and stay out.
- During a power outage, use a flashlight.
- Cook only where it is permitted.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
- Cook only when you are alert, not sleepy or drowsy from medicine or alcohol.
- Check with your local fire department for any restrictions before using a barbeque grill, fire pit or Chimenea.
- Check your school’s rules before using electrical appliances in your room.
- Use a surge protector for your computer and plug the protector directly into an outlet.