Start the school year off right

  • Written by State Fire Marshal’s Office

Olympia – As college students prepare to move into dormitories or off-campus housing for the upcoming school year, they should ensure their living space is a fire-safe environment. The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office encourages students to keep these tips in mind:

• Look for fully sprinklered housing when choosing a dorm or off-campus housing.
• Check to make sure that smoke alarms are installed in each sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and in all living areas.
• Ensure all appliances, such as stoves or curling irons, are turned off before leaving your dorm room or apartment.
• Always keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and extinguish them before going to sleep or leaving the room.
• Never leave the kitchen unattended when you are cooking, and cook only in areas where it is allowed. Do not use outdoor cooking appliances indoors.
• Do not overload extension cords, power strips or outlets. Check with your college/university to see which types of appliances are allowed in residence hall rooms.
• Know your building’s evacuation plan, and practice all drills as if they were the real thing.
• If you live off-campus, have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.

For more information, visit the SFMO’s website at or follow us on Twitter @wafiremarshal.


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