By Ed Comeau
The United States Senate has unanimously passed Senate Resolution 549 designating September 2012 as Campus Fire Safety Month. The bipartisan resolution was introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and joins with 27 governors and mayors that, to date, have also signed resolutions. As the United States Fire Administration says, “Fire is Everyone’s Fight” and that everyone has a role in making a fire-safe society!
National Campus Fire Safety Month began in 2005 when the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives and a companion bill was passed in the U.S. Senate. Eleven governors also issued proclamations at that time and in the eight years since then, a total of 227 proclamations have been signed in response to a letter sent each year, co-signed by parents who have lost children in campus-related fires.
“During National Campus Fire Safety Month, schools across the country hold events to raise awareness about how to prevent and respond to fires on campus,” said Senator Lautenberg in a prepared statement. “Increasing fire safety awareness on our college and university campuses will help avoid tragedies like the deadly Seton Hall University fire. We need to take every step possible to keep our students safe so they can focus on their education.”
“At this time of year, millions of students are returning to college and university campuses across the country,” said Senator Collins. “Designating September as National Campus Fire Safety Month is a timely reminder of the danger that fire can pose and the life-saving importance of fire-prevention awareness and education.”
Last academic year, 9 students were killed in campus-related fires, which reversed the downward trend that had been occurring since 2007-2008 when 18 people were killed. Since Campus Firewatch started tracking campus-related fires in 2000, 155 people have died in campus-related fires across the nation with 86 percent of them occurring in off-campus housing.
For additional resources on fire safety education, consider http://www.campus-firewatch.com/resources/ncfsmresources/.