Creating A Fire Safety Program

Short Description

The basic duties of a house manager and Housing Corporation include devising a fire safety program to be used in case of emergencies.

Target Audience

Housing Corporation
House Manager

Borradaile Challenge or Area of Focus



The American Mutual Insurance Alliance, in a publication on fraternity fire safety, offers these six practical suggestions for a proper chapter fire safety program:


1. Devote an entire evening meeting to fire safety in the chapter house. Have a local fire department officer as a guest speaker. Decide that a fire safety program is necessary for the well being of the chapter members, even though it may involve some sacrifice, effort, and a little expense.

2. Designate a responsible junior or senior as chairman of chapter fire safety. Give him the power to act and to enforce fire safety measurers. Remember, your life could depend on it.

3. Require, as a matter of chapter policy, that members support the fire safety program.

4. Require the fire safety chairman to inspect the house, individual rooms, and fire extinguishers at regular monthly intervals.

5. Correct any fire hazards within five days of inspection.

6. Encourage your fire safety chairman to introduce an IFC program to have regular inspections and workshops for all fraternities on fire prevention.

Common sense indicates the need for fire prevention programs in every chapter. A survey of 260 chapter house fires showed that careless smoking and match disposal, misuse of electricity by overfusing and/or excessive use of extension cords, and defective heating devices were the three principal causes of fraternity fires. Chapter leaders and alumni officers can eliminate all with proper emphasis.

Best Practices

When developing a fire safety program, remember to include the following:

1. Develop a prearranged emergency plan of action to avoid panic in case of fire. The plan should include summoning help and how to fight the fire, calling the fire department, evacuation and assembly for identification counts, directing the fire department to the problem area, developing a supervised salvage plan, and developing a security plan if the house cannot be reoccupied.

2. Maintain emergency exits, fire escapes, and fire doors clear of storage and ready for emergencies.

3. Prohibit wedging open any fire door.

4. Keep fire extinguishers of the correct kind and size on every floor.

5. Place smoke alarm detectors strategically around the house. They do not prevent damage, but they save lives.

6. Enforce stiff fines for playing with alarms or extinguishers.

7. Purchase only non-flammable party decorations and never block exits. Remove party decorations immediately after the party. Check for cigarette butts behind and in couches and chairs to avoid fires.

8. Post the number of the fire department, and always call the fire department after discovering a fire.

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