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5 Things That Cause Dorm Room Fires


With colleges and universities staring back up, it’s important to be aware of the potential causes of dorm room fires. Many time if your son or daughter is living away from home for the first time, he or she may not be aware that seemingly everyday items could be a fire hazard. Here are a few things to keep in mind when outfitting a dorm room.

1. Candles. While candles are a nice decorative addition to any space, they can be a serious fire hazard if left unattended. We suggest forgoing candles entirely (many universities don’t allow them anyway) or opting for a battery operated, flameless version.

2. Overloaded outlets. Between all of our electronic devices nowadays, it can seem like there are never enough outlets in a dorm room. Many students add power strips to add more outlets to power and charge their electronics. Only one power strip should be used per outlet, and connecting multiple power strips could potentially cause an electrical fire.

3. Hotplates. Some students like to have hotplates in their doom rooms as an option to cook their food. While it may seem obvious, hotplates need to be turned off after use to red

uce the risk of a fire. Flammable materials such a paper and cloth should be kept far away from the hot plate at all times for risk of catching on fire.

4. Space heaters. Dorm rooms have a reputation for being chilly, and one solution for this is to buy a space heater. While they are a nice solution to combat the cold, space heaters can be a big fire risk if left running for too long. Always make sure they are turned off and unplugged when the room is unoccupied. Similar to hot plates, they should also be kept away from any flammable materials.

5. Lighting. Lamps and other types of lighting are common in dorm rooms, but they need to comply with safety guidelines. For example, halogen lights are banned in most dorms because they have a tendency to get very hot and be more prone to starting fires. Also be aware the correct wattage for each light fixture is used to prevent fires.

Following these simple guidelines will ensure your son or daughter’s dorm room is safe from any potential fire hazards this school year.

Three Locations Serving Alaska:

(907) 344-1239

8535 Dimond D Circle, Suite A

Anchorage, AK 99515

(907) 373-1239

276 East Danna Avenue, Suite B

Wasilla, AK 99654

(907) 455-1239

1896 Marika Road #7

Fairbanks, AK 99709

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