BOCA RATON, FLA. -- In conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week, SimplexGrinnell is highlighting an array of company-sponsored programs that promote fire-safety awareness and seek to help colleges and universities improve fire and life-safety protection.
SimplexGrinnell, a business unit of Tyco Fire & Security and a leader in fire and life safety, supports a number of initiatives that advance the cause of fire prevention and fire protection in college and university settings. "Fire safety and fire prevention are vitally important topics, and nowhere is that more evident than on college and university campuses," says Bruce Fraser, director of industry relations at SimplexGrinnell. "While our primary business is the installation and servicing of fire and life-safety systems, SimplexGrinnell believes strongly in promoting campus fire-safety awareness and enhancing fire protection for our nation's youth."
National Fire Prevention Week, scheduled this year for Oct. 9-15, was first established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire - the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. Every year since 1925, the president of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week. SimplexGrinnell's commitment to campus fire-safety is also in keeping with the designation that proclaimed September as Campus Fire Safety Month.
Statistics from industry organizations underscore the importance of campus fire safety. According to the Center for Campus Fire Safety, 75 people have died in student housing fires across the nation since January 2000, with over 75% in off-campus housing. Common factors in a number of these fires include: lack of automatic fire sprinklers, missing or disabled smoke alarms, careless disposal of smoking materials, and alcohol consumption.
"The dangers of fire on and off campus are well known and well documented. We strongly believe that SimplexGrinnell's support of campus fire-safety initiatives makes a difference and can help save lives," Fraser says.
The SimplexGrinnell campus fire-safety programs include:
Perks for Peers Program: This SimplexGrinnell-sponsored initiative organized by CSHEMA (Campus Safety, Health & Environmental Management Association) encourages the development of innovative programs that improve fire and life-safety awareness at colleges and universities. SimplexGrinnell has provided funding for the program as well as in-kind services and support. Earlier this year, the Ohio University Perks for Peers Program was recognized as the first recipient of a Perks for Peers outstanding achievement award by CSHEMA, a division of the National Safety Council.
University of Colorado Student Fire Academy: SimplexGrinnell helped sponsor an innovative fire academy that was conducted this summer through a collaborative effort involving the University of Colorado and the City of Boulder Fire Department. In this interactive program, students were put through hands-on training that included fire extinguisher instruction, navigation of smoke-filled corridors and other learning activities designed to leave them with a memorable life experience.
University of Illinois Fire Factor Academy: This initiative features a partnership between the University of Illinois and the cities of Champaign and Urbana, Illinois, which have joined forces to work toward the common goal of imparting lifelong fire-safety habits to college students. The program involves hands-on training for college students that focuses on the risks of fire and the importance of fire prevention. Fire safety is a top priority in Champaign, where the city council last fall approved an ordinance requiring all university-certified housing to be retrofitted with fire sprinklers within five years. Nearly half of the university's privately owned dormitories, fraternities and sororities now have fire sprinklers.
Center for Campus Fire Safety: SimplexGrinnell is a founding member of the Center for Campus Fire Safety, a non-profit organization devoted to reducing fires at campuses across the nation through education and advocacy. The Center's mission is made possible through underwriting from SimplexGrinnell and other sponsor organizations dedicated to life safety and to teaching the nation's youth about fire safety.
Capitol Hill Campus Fire Academy: A recent Center for Campus Fire Safety initiative supported by SimplexGrinnell was the 2005 Capitol Hill Campus Fire Academy, which provided fire-safety training to over 90 college interns and emergency office coordinators who work in the offices of U.S. senators and representatives. The Congressional Fire Services Caucus, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, and the Architect of the Capitol partnered with the Center to bring the program to Washington, D.C.
Campus Fire Forum 7: Next month (Nov. 8-10) in Tempe, Ariz., the Center will present Campus Fire Forum 7, a three-day seminar for campus fire-safety professionals that includes educational sessions and exhibits of the latest fire protection solutions. Fraser will deliver a presentation at the forum titled "Strategic Applications of Fire Alarm Technology," which will discuss the strategic use of current fire alarm technology in the academic environment.
SimplexGrinnell is online at www.simplegrinnell.com.