No matter where you choose to live, stay safe

From the Department of Public Safety and Parking Services

In light of the recent fire tragedy at the University of Minnesota, the UST Department of Public Safety and Parking Services takes this opportunity to express our concern and sympathy for the loss students lives. We would also like to remind our campus community that your safety and well-being is our top priority. Please take a moment to review the following helpful hints and protect yourself and fellow community members.

No matter where you choose to live, safety is key. Keep the following in mind!

  • Check to see that windows and doors are in good condition and have secure locks.
  • Make sure that there are working smoke detectors in the unit.
  • Plan and Practice to Escape. Fire escape routes must not include elevators, which might take you right to the fire! Choose a meeting place outside where everyone will gather. Once you are out, stay out!
  • Check that all the appliances provided with the accommodation, such as cookers and fires, work and that when they are turned on you cannot smell gas. If you can, ask the landlord to get it checked out.
  • Check that there are not any worn electrical wires or damaged sockets.
  • Check that the handrails on the stairs are not loose.
  • Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet (1 meter) from paper, curtains, furniture, clothing, bedding, or anything else that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed, and keep children and pets well away from them.
  • Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy! Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers, and put water on the cigarette butts before discarding them. Before going to bed, check under and around sofa cushions for smoldering cigarettes.
  • If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately, and have it repaired. Check all your electrical cords, and replace any that are cracked or frayed. If you use extension cords, don’t overload them or run them under rugs. Remember that fuses and circuit breakers protect you from fire: don’t tamper with the fuse box or use fuses of an improper size.
  • Stop, drop, and roll! Everyone should know this rule: If your clothes catch fire, don’t run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll over and over to smother the flames. Cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs.
  • If you encounter smoke using your primary exit, use your alternate route instead. If you must exit through smoke, the cleanest air will be several inches off the floor. Get down on your hands and knees, and crawl to the nearest safe exit.
Remember: By planning ahead, you can do a lot to prevent a fire. But once a fire starts in your home, there are only two things to do: First get out, then call the fire department from a neighbor’s home. Don’t go back into a burning building, no matter what. If you think someone is trapped inside, tell the firefighters when they arrive.