Three reported fires occurred on the University of Dayton’s campus since the start of school. According to Sean Englert, life safety and loss prevention specialist at UD, these fires were not connected but are concerning to the university.
The first fire occurred Aug. 20 in the kitchen of an apartment while residents were cooking on Plumwood Road. Englert said the fire department responded, and there was only slight damage to the kitchen.
The second was a dumpster fire Aug. 21 near 341 Stonemill Rd. According to Public Safety, who responded to the fire, no cause was determined.
A couch fire on a porch occurred Aug. 25 at a students occupied landlord house at 33 Woodland Ave. By the time the fire department arrived, the fire was already put out, but Englert said this kind of incident worries him the most.
“This situation is the one that gives us the most concern,” he said. “They can get out of hand quickly and spread to the house, especially without any smoke detectors on the porch to warn people of the danger.”
Englert said that fires in campus and off-campus housing are an increasing concern across the country. According to a press release from UD’s Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management, there have been 146 campus-related fire fatalities since 2000. Many of these fires are a result of missing or broken smoke detectors, impaired judgment due to alcohol consumption or carelessly throwing away smoking materials.
Robin Oldfield, Director of UD Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management, said in the press release that the most important thing students can do is practice fire safety.
“Everyone should also know the location of fire extinguishers and how to use them,” she said in the release.
According to the press release, some important fire safety tips for students are:
•Take all fire and smoke alarms seriously.
•Wherever you are, always know at least two ways out.
•Know the dormitory’s or residence hall’s fire escape plan.
•Make sure working smoke detectors are installed on each level of the residence and in each sleeping area.
•Check smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once per semester.
•Never remove smoke detector batteries because of cooking smoke, shower steam or for any other reason.
•Extinguish all smoking materials, candles and incense thoroughly. Never leave them unattended.
•Clean up immediately after parties and take all trash outside. Designate a non-impaired “event monitor” to be in charge of the clean up.
•Do not overload electrical outlets or use extension cords in place of permanent wiring.
Englert also said students should know who to call for help in the event of a fire. Dialing 9-1-1 from a campus phone or (937) 229-2121 from a cell phone will connect the caller to Public Safety.
“If people see fires being started, they should help the police solve it,” Englert said. “Students should contact Public Safety as there are avenues to report these situations.”
For more information on fire safety, contact Sean Englert at (937) 229-4503 or visit the University of Dayton Fire and Life Safety Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/UDFireSafety.