HFD gives tips for students during National Campus Fire Safety Month

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 4:29 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - September is National Campus Fire Safety Month and according to the NFPA, between 2015 and 2019, there was an annual average of 3,840 structure fires across the country in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and other buildings.

With James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite University both in the city, the Harrisonburg Fire Department is spending time this month to make sure students know what they can do to prevent a fire emergency.

“Especially if it’s your first time maybe living out of the home, you’re kind of having to take that responsibility of keeping your house up to date, keeping your smoke alarms in check, making sure that you’re being responsible about all of those things. Keeping not only yourself, but also your housemates and your roommates safe as well,” HFD Community Risk Reduction Education Specialist Leslie Pullen said.

Pullen said smoke alarms should be checked once a month, and their batteries should be changed once a year. She added the most common campus-related calls received by HFD involve unattended cooking.

One of the most important things Pullen said for students to keep in mind is an escape route if a fire emergency does occur.

“Make sure they have two ways out of every room. If you have larger gatherings, making sure that the exits are not blocked making sure people know how to get out, stay out and call 911,” Pullen said.

HFD offers free smoke alarms and other fire prevention materials and information. You can find out more by calling them at 540-432-7703, or by clicking here.