PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The fire department is urging college students who live in the capital city to practice fire safety as the school comes to a close.
This follows a series of fires in Providence that have displaced students living on and off campus.
Providence Fire Department Acting Fire Marshal, Peter McMichael, says most campus housing in Rhode Island is up to code and the colleges and universities spend a lot of money keeping buildings safe for students.
“However, when students move off campus, those safeguards are not in place, so there may not be anyone checking to make sure it’s up to code.” McMichael says there are important, life-saving factors to keep in mind, “Students and their parents need to ask more questions, ‘Am I safe, do I have two ways out of my house, do I have a smoke detector outside of my bedroom?’”
The fire department says the leading cause of all fires is cooking.
Students are urged to take a few steps in preventing fires: inspect the condition of the stove, do not leave food unattended, keep a fire extinguisher nearby, if a small grease fire starts in a pan, put a cover on it, don’t pick up the pan to bring it outside, etc.
The fire department stressed the importance of having smoke detectors in all homes and businesses.
“If anyone doesn’t have a smoke detector, don’t wait for your landlord to bring a house up to code, go out and purchase a smoke detector. If you cannot afford one, contact the Providence Fire Department and we’ll provide one for you.” adds McMichael.