|For Immediate Release
August 12, 2014
|For more information contact:
State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan
NH State Fire Marshal's Office
September is Campus Fire Safety Month
At the request of State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has declared September as Campus Fire Safety Month. The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan, Chief David Parenti, President of the NH Association of Fire Chiefs, and The New Hampshire Fire Prevention Society are in partnership with Campus Firewatch to promote Campus Fire Safety.
Since 2005 the Governor of New Hampshire has joined other states across the nation in signing a Proclamation establishing September as Campus Fire Safety Month as part of a nationwide effort to raise fire and life safety awareness amongst students residing on and off campus. August and September are typically the worst time of year for fatal campus-related housing fires.
"For most students, the last fire safety training they have received was in grade school, but with new independence comes new responsibilities. It is important that both on- and off-campus students understand fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives," said State Fire Marshal Degnan. It is the intent that through Campus Fire Safety Month students will realize they are not invincible, that fires do happen in campus-related settings, and that students should take steps to protect themselves no matter where they live.
We encourage schools across the state to provide educational programs throughout the school year and for schools and municipalities to evaluate the level of fire safety being provided in both on- and off-campus student housing. Schools should take the necessary steps to ensure fire-safe living environments through fire safety education, installation of fire suppression and detection systems and smoke alarms, and the development and enforcement of applicable codes relating to fire safety. A recent fatal fire in NH highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms. With the support of the community fire departments, we can work on making sure that there are fewer fire deaths each year.
The leading cause of all fires is cooking fires, and the leading cause of all fatal fires is careless disposal of smoking materials-both preventable, but only if people are taught what to do to avoid them from happening. Degnan states, "This education starts in elementary school and should continue through college to help build a fire-safe generation for the future."