Off Campus & Commuter Services

West Chester University

Sykes Student Union, Rm 116

Fire Safety

West Chester University is committed to student safety, on and off campus. These pages are provided to assist students in finding the most recent safety information and housing standards.

Did you know?

  • Fire is the third leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S.
  • A residential fire occurs every 82 seconds in this country.
  • The size of a fire doubles every 30 seconds.
  • Half of all deaths in domestic fires happen between 10p.m. and 8a.m.
  • (Statistics taken from "Fire Kills" and the US Fire Administration.)

What you need to know to stay safe in an apartment:

  • Make sure your property's address is clearly visible
  • Don't block roads to emercency services
  • Never ignore a fire alarm, always assume it's real
  • Make sure exit paths are clear of obstruction
  • Ask your landlord to show you the fire extinguishers in your apartment and how to use them

Get an early warning with Smoke Detectors:

  • Install at least one smoke detector on each level of your home, and one in every bedroom
  • Test all smoke detectors monthly and follow cleaning instructions
  • Change batteries at least once a year
  • Optimally, smoke detectors should be placed in attics, basements, and garages as well
  • Never under any circumstances remove or disable a smoke detector

Have an Evacuation Plan:

  • Inspect exit doors and windows to assure they are working properly
  • Create a plan with several escape routes
  • Select a location to meet after evacuation
  • Practice fire escape and evacuation plans
  • Once out of the building, never go back in
  • Try to plan at least two exits from each room

Preventing electrical fires:

  • Do not overload electrical outlets
  • Use extension cords properly
  • Only use extension cords temporarily
  • Immediately replace frayed or unsafe cords
  • Never use a cord in a wet area
  • Have loose-fitting electrical outlets checked by an electrician. Aplug may slip out of these outlets and cause a spark
  • Replace broken outlet cover plates to no wiring is exposed
  • Never cut the ground prong from any cord, use an adapter
  • Use extra care with portable heaters and keep any flammable items at least three feet away

Preventing kitchen fires:

  • Do not leave the kitchen area while cooking
  • Keep flammable materials away from the stove or hot surfaces
  • Make sure your landlord clearly explains the operation of cooking appliances
  • Make sure there is a working smoke detector and familiarize yourself with its location
  • If grease catches fire carefully slide a lid over the pan to extinguish it, don't try to carry the pan to the sink while it is on fire
  • Keep the stove and oven clean of grease

How to prevent a fire:

  • Never smoke in bed or a comfortable chair in which you may fall asleep
  • Careless smoking is the #1 cause of fires
  • Never leave candles or open flames unattended
  • Keep drapes and anything flammable at least three feet away from portable or baseboard heaters

If a fire does break out:

  • React immediately and begin following your evacuation plan
  • Do not stop to gather personal belongings
  • Feel doors before you open them; if they are hot use another exit
  • Stay close to the floor to avoid smoke