First responders have important fire safety message for college students

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – First responders in the East are encouraging college-aged students to keep fire safety in mind. It is National Campus Fire Safety Month.

The National Fire Protection Association reported fires in student housing to cause an average of one death, 32 injuries and $15 million in property damages each year.

Greenville Fire/Rescue encourages students to get prepared now.

Whether you live on or off-campus, students should check smoke alarms and make sure exits are open and easily accessible.

Here is a map of Greenville Fire/Rescue data. Inside red outline is ECU’s campus and outside red outline is a quarter-mile radius. Dots resemble residential structure fires.

Data analyzers from GFR evaluated residential structure fire data in a quarter-mile radius around ECU’s campus for five years. There were a total of 76 fires and 45 percent were cooking related.

“Off-campus housing – they are going to be more at risk. They may be older buildings, there may be more people in there that aren’t protected, you may not have sprinklers in there, and we want to make sure those students are hearing the message that you want to plan now,” said Rebekah Thurston, Greenville Fire/Rescue, PIO.

Data also shows these reported fires were most likely to occur in October during weekends or on weekdays from 4 to 10 p.m. GFR data aligned almost perfectly with national data.

“These homes are different than what they are living in in the summer and so it’s a good time to take a moment and make sure they are ready and prepared if a fire does happen,” said Thurston.

They also want to remind students to be of sound mind when cooking in the kitchen. They say alcohol and drugs can greatly increase the chance of a fire.

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