Tips for College Students

Time is of the essence when escaping a fire, so every second counts. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a building to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames, so proper escape planning will help you get out quickly.

  • Practice escape drills at least twice per year.
  • Make sure you have at least two ways out of every room, like the primary door and a window.
  • Escape ladders can be used for high windows, but make sure they have been tested by an independent laboratory, like Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Each household member should practice feeling their way out of the building in the dark or with their eyes closed to simulate the dark, smoky conditions that exist in a fire.
  • When a fire occurs, time should never be wasted trying to save valuables and keepsakes.
  • Crawl low under the smoke and keep your mouth covered. The smoke contains toxic gases which can disorient and overcome you.
  • Use the back of your hand to feel the door to see if it's hot, which indicates fire is on the other side, so you should use your second escape route. If the door is cool, open it slowly. Quickly shut the door if smoke or heat comes in.
  • If you live in an apartment building, count the number of doors between you and the stairwell to help you find your way out since you should be crawling and won't be able to see exactly where you are.
  • Designate a meeting location away from the building that all household members are aware of. Then one person should call 911 from a cell phone or a neighbor'¬ís home.
  • Never go back into a burning building for any reason!  Even one breath of the superheated, smoky air is enough to kill!
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