State Fire Marshal encourages university students to create a fire safety plan

Fire Extinguisher Safety

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — The Office of Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM), Eastern Illinois University (EIU) and Charleston Fire Department will host an event on Wednesday to encourage students to create and practice a fire escape plan.

Officials said September is Campus Fire Safety Month so the event aims to prevent common campus fires and reduce fire hazards.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fires in student housing cause an average of one death, 32 injuries, and $15 million in property damage each year. Three out of four of those fires begin in the kitchen. The likelihood for a fire is greatest on the weekends and weekdays from 5-9 p.m.. Since January 2000, at least 175 people, including students, parents and children have died in college-related fires. Seven of those incidents happened in Illinois.

Officials said the event will be held at 11 a.m. at EIU campus on Lincoln Avenue. The guest speakers are Illinois State Fire marshal Matt Perez, EIU President David Glassman, EIU Executive Director of Housing and Dinning Mark Hudson and Charleston Fire Chief Steve Bennett.

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