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Union Fire District of South Kingstown Offers Fire Safety Tips as University of Rhode Island Students Resume Classes
As University of Rhode Island students return to campus and off-campus housing, Chief Steven Pinch of the Union Fire District, Chief Nate Barrington of the Kingston Fire District, and URI Assistant Director of Public Safety Samuel Adams would like to remind students to take several steps to avoid fire dangers in their residence halls, homes and apartments.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, close to 4,000 fires occur each year in university housing across the nation, with most of them caused by cooking. The other leading causes of campus housing fires are arson, careless smoking, unattended candles, overloaded extension cords, power strips and outlets.
Alarms and sprinklers are the most effective fire prevention tools. Fire alarms keep residents safe by warning them of a potential fire. Sprinkler systems help control the fire immediately, often extinguishing the fire or greatly limiting a fire’s ability to spread. According to the fire administration, the combination of working smoke alarms and fire sprinklers reduces the likelihood of dying in a fire by more than 82%.
Students should not rent space in attics, garages and near heating units, where exits, lighting and ventilation likely do not meet fire and building codes. Generally, there should be no more than four renters in an average-sized house.
“We encourage students living on campus and in off-campus housing to review these important safety tips,” Chief Pinch said. “Even in these unprecedented times during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we all must remember to stay prepared in case of a fire and to use safe practices in regard to activities such as cooking, using candles and more.”
“Like our shared responsibilities in the fight against COVID-19, we all need to take steps to prevent fires and the often resulting loss of life and property damage,” Chief Barrington said. “The goal of our collaboration with Chief Pinch and Assistant Director Adams is to keep University students and the wider community as safe as possible during these challenging times.”
To prevent accidents and injuries, the two South Kingstown fire districts recommend the following safety tips from the USFA: