Are Florida College Students at Risk for Dangerous Dorm Fires?

by Carmen Dellutri on November 17, 2011

 Fort Myers personal injury attorneyWhile many parents take for granted that the buildings their children will be occupying while at college are safe and up to code, as Florida personal injury attorneys, we know that is not always the case. In  fact, they could be at risk for a dangerous dorm fire.

Fire is one of the most dangerous threats to student safety at Florida colleges and universities. A fire in a student housing facility can quickly rage out of control if appropriate safeguards are not in place to stop it. While dorm fires don’t happen every day, when they do occur, the consequences can be devastating.

On-Campus Fires

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) recently issued a special report focusing on the causes and characteristics of fires in college and university residential buildings that include dormitories and fraternity and sorority houses.

According to the report, an estimated average of 3,800 university housing fires occur each year. Annually, these fires are responsible for 25 injuries and $9 million in property loss.

While alcohol use is frequently cited as a contributing factor in fatal dorm fires, many other factors contribute to dangerous dorm fires, including:

  • Improper use of 911 notification systems delays emergency response.
  • Student apathy is prevalent. Many are unaware that fire is a risk or threat in the environment.
  • Evacuation efforts are hindered since fire alarms are often ignored.
  • Building evacuations are delayed due to lack of preparation and preplanning.
  • Vandalized and improperly maintained smoke alarms and fire alarm systems inhibit early detection of fires.
  • Misuse of cooking appliances, overloaded electrical circuits, and extension cords increase the risk of fires.

Off-Campus Fires

According to information compiled by Campus Firewatch, an even larger number of student fire deaths occur in off-campus housing. This is significant given that two-thirds of college students live off-campus.

There are four common factors in a number of these fires:

  • Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
  • Missing or disabled smoke alarms
  • Careless disposal of smoking materials
  • Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption

For more information about campus fire safety, please visit the U.S. Fire Administration website available here.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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