USF offers fire prevention education


USF is will provide three days of seminars to teach students the many ways they can protect themselves.

Running Oct. 11-13, USF Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association to go forward with a National Fire Prevention Week.

The goal of these events is to provide the university community with educational resources on fire prevention and how to respond in the event of a fire.

In conjunction with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, EHS will conduct fire extinguisher training and provide campus and residence hall fire safety tips.

From January 2000 to May 2015, there were 85 deadly fires in dormitories, fraternity and sorority housing, and off-campus housing, resulting in 118 fatalities — an average of approximately seven per school year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. 

“Student lives are involved and the safety information we will distribute regarding smoke detectors will help to educate the students on the seriousness of maintaining and taking action when these life safety devices activate,” said Eugene Banks, the safety and compliance manager for USF’s Fire Safety Department. 

According to NFPA survey data, the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which can put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. According to Banks, knowing how to ways out of every building is vital information in the case of a fire.

“If you’re living off campus, make sure your smoke detectors in your residence are properly operating,” Banks said. 

More in-depth advice in preventing and avoiding dangerous fire conditions will be distributed during Fire Safety Week on Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the south side of the Marshall Student Center during Bull Market.