Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito signed a proclamation at the State House making September Campus Fire Safety Month for the 12th year in a row. This signing came less than twelve hours after a fire in an illegal rental occupancy in Allston that displaced eleven people, six of them students, which only served to reinforce the message.
This event also marked the kick-off of a statewide campus fire safety campaign, “Smoke alarms and two ways out, Best College Roommates Evah!” that we’re doing in partnership with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Easton Fire Department, Campus Firewatch and the National Fire Protection Association. We’re focusing on two important messages – working smoke alarms and two ways out.
We created a PSA with Boston Fire for the campaign featuring the fire fighters that were first-due to the fire that killed college senior Binland Lee fire (and they also happened to be first due to the Allston fire on Wednesday morning).
The state DOT is going to be running a public service message for us on the electronic billboards throughout the state during the month.
The biggest news of all is that for the first time, since 2000, there were no college-related fire deaths last academic year! For the past 11 years, all of the fatal fires have been in off-campus housing, and since the building stock is not getting remarkably better, I’d have to attribute this to heightened awareness among students and parents.
More information on the campaign is at www.bestroommatesevah.org