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Campus Fire Safety Month Highlights Fire Sprinkler Retrofits in Illinois

Monmouth College is on track to complete its fire sprinkler retrofit projects at dorms, such as Liedman Hall, ahead of the state-mandated 2013 deadline.

The month of September has been recognized as “National Campus Fire Safety Month” since 2005. Colleges and universities across the nation hold educational sessions and demonstrations to inform students what they can do to ensure that they do not become victims of preventable fires. Governors across the nation sign proclamations annually and the U.S. Senate and House introduce resolutions to recognize the month.

“September is the perfect time to recommit ourselves to campus fire safety, as students at colleges and universities throughout the nation are returning to their studies,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-New Jersey).

Here in Illinois, the month-long event is a reminder of the ongoing projects at colleges and universities as part of both the Fire Sprinkler Dormitory Act and the Greek Housing Fire Safety Act. The pieces of legislation require all existing dormitories and university housing at public and private higher education institutions to be retrofit with fire sprinklers by 2013 and existing Greek housing to be retrofit by 2019. In addition, all new residence halls and Greek housing must be built with fire sprinklers.

Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) Executive Director Tom Lia recommends the following schools to prospective college students, due to their ability to stay ahead of the deadline and provide safer living situations for students:

Monmouth College‘s alumni newsletter in August noted that the college in Monmouth is nearing completion with its dormitory retrofit project, and College President Mauri Ditzler said the college is on track to have the multi-year project completed in advance of the mandated deadline.

Lieutenant of fire prevention for the River Forest Fire Department, Dave Witken, states that Concordia University Chicago in River Forest has already completed its dormitory retrofit projects.

According to Lia, higher education institutions such as these in Illinois are proving their dedication to fire prevention and the safety of their students by taking the deadline seriously and staying on track with the projects.

“It’s important that students are protected from fires in their dormitories, especially since they view these schools as their homes away from home for three-quarters of the year,” he adds.

 

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