Albany, NY - August 26, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and Office of Fire Prevention and Control will visit the state’s private and public colleges and universities to conduct inspections, education programs, and a series of campus fire safety education training days. These visits will teach students about campus fire danger and provide special trainings for residence assistants and resident life directors, ultimately helping to ensure campus safety across the state.
“New York has one of the most robust campus fire inspection programs in the country and our work to educate students about fire danger has received national recognition and help prevent avoidable tragedies,” Governor Cuomo said. “I applaud the work that Office of Fire Prevention and Control and local fire officials have done to keep our students and campuses safe, and encourage colleges and universities across the state to continue to take advantage of this life saving resource.”
In the last year, Office of Fire Prevention and Control has conducted 23,689 inspections at public and private colleges and universities across New York State. Using a hands-on format, these fire safety education days include use of the Office of Fire Prevention and Control fire safety house for smoke evacuation simulation and fire sprinkler demonstrations, as well as remarks on fire safety from college presidents, elected officials, fire chiefs, Office of Fire Prevention and Control officials and burn survivors.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, “The State has entrusted Office of Fire Prevention and Control to help keep New York’s campuses safe from fire danger and it is a mission that we embrace. Office of Fire Prevention and Control, working alongside local fire officials, strive to inform and educate college students, faculty and staff each year about what they can do to prevent campus fires.”
New York strengthened its campus fire inspection and education programs following a fatal fire at a freshman residence hall on the Seton Hall University campus in New Jersey in 2000. While some states opted to retrofit campus residences with fire sprinklers to improve safety, New York passed legislation that instituted the most vigorous fire inspection program in the country and made the Office of Fire Prevention and Control responsible for inspecting all private and public colleges and universities outside of the City of New York.
State Fire Administrator Bryant Stevens said, “Office of Fire Prevention and Control ongoing campus inspections, fire safety education and events all support this administration’s focus to protect students so they can focus on furthering their education. Office of Fire Prevention and Control staff, in partnership with local fire officials, has helped to educate more than 300,000 individuals over the past ten years about campus fire safety and I’m proud of the work my colleagues do to keep New York’s campuses safe.”
Campus education events for RAs were completed this month at the Culinary Institute of America, Dutchess County Community College, Marist College, SUNY Morrisville, Clarkson University, Mercy College, LeMoyne College, SUNY Cobleskill and Bard College.
Upcoming Campus Fire Safety Awareness Day Events:
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, August 30
- Union College (RA training), September 1
- St. Lawrence University, September 2
- Siena College, September 9
- Fulton–Montgomery Community College, September 13
- Culinary Institute of America , September 21
- Bard College, September 23
- Union College, September 28
- Dutchess County Community College, October 4
- SUNY Potsdam, October 4
- SUNY Adirondack, October 13
Vital Campus Fire Safety Tips for Students:
- Always know two ways out. Whether in a residence hall, off-campus housing, at an event or night out or party, always plan your escape.· When the smoke alarm or fire alarm sounds, get out of the building quickly, or follow your building evacuation plan, and stay out.
- Cook only where it is permitted and never leave cooking unattended.· Check your lamps. Don’t exceed the maximum wattage and monitor for overheating.
- Make sure there is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm nearby.
- Never remove batteries or disable the alarm.
- Check your school’s rules before using electrical appliances in your room.
Find more information about campus fire safety here.
About Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and its four offices -- Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications -- provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit here.