Orange fire marshal warns of campus dangers

ORANGE >> September is Campus Fire Safety Month, a national response to fire-related emergencies on college and university campuses.

There are many causes of fires, but most are the result of a lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. The majority of college students have not had fire safety education since elementary school.

The Orange fire marshal’s Office offers the following tips for those away from home as well as the general public.

• Fire is fast and time is the biggest enemy. It is important to get out immediately as heavy black smoke can fill an area in minutes and a small fire can get out of control in as little as 30 seconds.

• Have an escape plan and practice it. Know two ways out of every room.

• Fire is hot. Stay low to the ground and cover your mouth and nose, with a damp cloth if possible, to help you breathe. The heat from a fire can kill or damage your lungs.

• Fire is dark. It begins as a bright glow, but causes smoke and eventually darkness that can cause disorientation.

• Fire is deadly. A fire will consume the oxygen and emit toxic smoke and gas. There are more deaths due to gas and smoke than fire itself. When in a safe place, phone 911.

• Take simple precautions: Install smoke alarms and test them regularly. Do not overload electrical outlets; replace electrical cords when frayed. Keep rooms and work areas tidy. Never leave food unattended when cooking. Extinguish candles when leaving a room or when no longer needed. Structure fires in campus housing are more common 5-11 p.m. and on weekends.

For information or for Orange residents to get free carbon monoxide alarms, contact the fire marshal’s office, 355 Boston Post Road, 203-891-4711, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays.