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CPSC's See It Before You Sign It Campaign

Wednesday, May 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is calling on parents and college students to put fire safety on the top of their list when shopping for off-campus housing for the upcoming fall semester. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), 94 percent of all fatal campus fires between 2000 and 2015 occurred in off-campus housing. In 58 percent of those fatal campus fires, there were no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that did not have working batteries. In combination with the USFA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Campus Firewatch, the CPSC is on a mission to raise awareness about fire safety in off-campus housing.

See It Before You Sign It

These days, it’s so easy to make arrangements for out-of-town housing before you get to school. With virtual tours and plenty of online photos, you might think you know what you’re getting into. Unfortunately, nothing beats actually going to see your future apartment in person. The See It Before You Sign It campaign is also calling on parents to get more involved in the process of finding fire safe housing. The CPSC has a great checklist to ensure you and your child find safe housing that is up to all necessary fire-safety standards.

Fire Safety List

  • Working smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside of sleeping areas and on each level of the apartment or house
  • Fire sprinklers
  • Two ways out of each room for a safe escape

Check for Fire Safety

  • Make sure all windows and doors open easily
  • Make sure housing can handle power demands of all electronics
  • Ask the landlord pointed questions about fire safety

Improving Fire Safety for California College Students

According to the USFA, smoking materials and alcohol were factors in the majority of campus fires. They’re also quick to point out how important it is to keep an eye on food during cooking. Never leave the room if you have anything cooking or if any of the burners on.

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