WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution, introduced by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Patty Murray (D-WA), that designates September 2013 as Campus Fire Safety Month. The resolution also encourages institutions of higher education to implement fire safety education and fire prevention measures.
"Designating September as Campus Fire Safety Month will serve as an important reminder to higher education communities about the significance of fire safety, awareness, and prevention," said Senator Carper, co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. "Increased attention to fire hazards will translate into safer campuses across the country and will help save lives."
"This month, millions of students returned to college and university campuses across the country," said Senator Collins, co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. "Designating September as National Campus Fire Safety Month serves as a timely reminder of the danger that fire can pose and the life-saving importance of fire-prevention awareness and education."
"It is so critical that we do everything we can to ensure the safety of our students," Senator Murray said. "That is why I'm so glad to join Sen. Collins in introducing this legislation to designate September as Campus Fire Safety Month. I hope that this will help raise awareness about fire danger, and educate students on best practices to stay safe."
According to Campus Firewatch, there were seven campus-related fire fatalities during the 2012-2013 academic year. Eighty-six percent of campus-related fire fatalities across the nation since January 2000 have occurred in off-campus housing. Five common factors in a number of these fires include a lack of automatic fire sprinklers, missing or disabled smoke alarms, careless disposal of smoking materials, impaired judgment from alcohol consumption, and fire originating on upholstered furniture on decks or porches.
The resolution is supported by Campus Firewatch, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the International Association of Firefighters, and the National Volunteer Fire Council.