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Off Campus Fire Safety

Off Campus Safety

While most student fire fatalities occur in off-campus housing, living off campus does not have to be a dangerous undertaking. Knowing what to look for before signing a lease and practicing a few safe habits once your in can help you have a safe off-campus experience.

Before you sign….

There’s more to consider than location and rent when it comes to leasing off-campus housing and this simple checklist can help. Look for items such as working smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher and multiple ways out. If you have any questions, the Bowling Green Fire Department will be happy to assist.

Now that you’re in….

You can be your own best friend when it comes to safety. Here are some tips:


  • Cook only where it is allowed.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and free of anything that can burn.
  • Keep an eye on what you are cooking, especially if you are cooking at high temperatures.
  • If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.


  • Place candles in sturdy holders.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Keep candles away from anything that can burn.
  • Use safe flameless candles.


  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarettes butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Use deep, wide ashtrays. Place ashtrays on something sturdy and hard to burn. Better yet, only smoke outside.
  • After a party, check for cigarette butts, especially under cushions. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast.
  • Don’t smoke when you have been drinking or are drowsy.

Electrical safety

  • Keep lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs away from anything that can burn.
  • Never use an extension cord with large appliances, like a refrigerator.
  • Do not overload outlets.
  • Use only surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection.

 Smoke detectors

  • Test your smoke detectors regularly.
  • Never disable detectors by unplugging or removing batteries.
  • Keep detectors free of dust.

Know where to go

  • Know two ways out and where to meet outside during an emergency


Off Campus Fire Safety Checklist (PDF)

FEMA Fire Safety Video

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 Last Modified 4/13/15