By: Hasnat Aslam ’27

October is National Fire Prevention Month. Here are eight helpful tips to aid you in preventing fire hazards on campus:

  1. Learn your building’s evacuation plan and practice drills as if they were the real thing. Jeff Troxell, director of public safety, says fire drills happen on campus twice every year to better prepare students for fire emergencies.
  2. Leave quickly when the fire alarm sounds. Spending time retrieving items takes away precious time from escape.
  3. When cooking, stay in the kitchen and be alert. If you have to leave the kitchen for any reason, make sure to turn off the stove first. According to the National Fire Protection Association, roughly six out of seven fires in residence halls are started by cooking. 
  4. Do not use items with any open flame (such as a candle) or device that contains an open heating element (such as a wax burner). Grace Reynolds, director of residence life, says open flames are prohibited inside dormitories. Instead use safer alternatives like flameless candles.
  5. Do not overload extension cords, power strips, and sockets. It causes the circuit to heat up and might cause a fire.
  6. Instantly report any potential fire hazard you see. Troxell says prompt reporting of fire hazards by students helps public safety to effectively counter potential fire threats.
  7. If you smoke, smoke outside and only where it is permitted. 
  8. Items may not be hung from the sprinkler system hardware or taped over any fire safety device. Tampering with fire apparatus is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Here are a few resources detailing what Lafayette does to ensure fire safety and how students can prevent fire hazards: