MADISON (WKOW) -- From Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's office:
The Wisconsin Attorney General's Office and the Wisconsin State Fire Marshal, along with the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the Center for Campus Safety, recognize the month of September as Campus Safety Month. I and the State Fire Marshall's Office would like to encourage students to keep safety in the forefront as they return to campus. Each year, lives are lost in campus-related fires. The following are a few simple precautions recommended by the National Association of State Fire Marshal's and could mean the difference between life and death.
Candles: Although many higher education facilities have already banned the use of candles in on-campus housing, over half of college students are living off-campus. Many students reside in one- and two-family dwellings and apartment buildings, which places them in a high-risk category. In 2005, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that over 15,000 home fires, 150 deaths, 1,270 injuries and $539 million in property loss resulted from the improper use of candles. Living on- or off-campus, students should be aware of these safety tips:
Cooking Safety: According to the United States Fire Administration, cooking fires are the number one cause of fire injury on college campuses.
Smoking/Drinking: Smoking combined with alcohol and/or other drugs could prove deadly. People are aware that smoking is bad for their health, but one of the dangers that people often forget is the relationship between smoking and the potential for fire, especially when combined with alcohol or other drugs. Studies have shown that more than half of all alcohol-impaired fire deaths were the result of fires caused by careless smoking. If you must smoke, only smoke outside of the building and encourage others to do the same.
Following these few simple tips will ensure that students have a safe and successful school year.