Campus Fire and Safety Procedures

By Jambar Contributor

Courtney Hibler

Youngstown State University released the 2017 Annual Campus Safety and Fire Report to educate students and faculty about important information regarding fire prevention and safety on campus.

According to the report, YSU established the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety in July 1989. It assures all legal obligations are met for health, safety, the environment and assisting faculty, staff and students when needed.

“I think there should be more information given to students and faculty about exit strategies,” junior and general studies major Taylor McKenney said. “Especially when in the classrooms.”

Some students don’t know the fire safety procedure.

“I know absolutely nothing about it,” sophomore Azia Morgan said.

Early childhood education freshman Alexis Mohn said she has an idea on how to educate students about the procedures.

“YSU staff could provide a safety lecture to their classes at the beginning of the semester,” Mohn said.

There are many ways a fire can start when people aren’t careful, Youngstown Fire Chief John O’Neill said.

“Unattended … cooking oil and grease is a leading cause of fires,” O’Neill said. “Equally dangerous are discarded cigarettes, unattended candles and improper use of cords and space heaters.”

Arson is another way a fire can occur and it is a serious issue, Kurt Wright, Youngstown fire investigator, said.

“Arson is a fire that resulted from intentional human act,” he said. Wright investigates how fires start by using the scientific method.

“Recognize the need, define the problem, collect data, analyze data, develop a hypothesis, test the hypothesis and select your final hypothesis,” Wright said.

Once the cause of the fire is known, if it is an accident, it will be classified as accidental. If the fire was caused by arson, it can be difficult to prove, he said.

“Approximately one percent of all arsons end in prosecution,” Wright said.

If a fire occurs, staying safe is the most important aspect, O’Neill said.

Using a fire extinguisher to contain a fire is acceptable if the fire is small enough, the Annual Campus Safety and Fire Report said.

The acronym P.A.S.S. is used in the report to teach people how to use a fire extinguisher: Pull the sliver pin on the extinguisher, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle to discharge the contents and sweep the extinguisher from side to side until the fire is out.

If the fire is too large do not put it out and exit the building quickly and safely, O’Neill said.

“Unless you have the means to safely extinguish quickly, you should activate the building alarm by one of the pull stations, close the door behind you and exit the building immediately,” O’Neill said. “Once outside it is extremely helpful to the arriving firefighters if accounting for people is conducted quickly.”

Accounting for those who may be missing can be done most efficiently if students and faculty have a designated safe spot to meet at during these events.