Each year fires occur in student housing facilities in colleges across the nation.
The results of such incidents have sometimes devastated college communities through the
loss of innocent fire victims and the destruction of valuable property. The problem was
the Fresno Fire Department did not provide fire prevention education to the staff
members of the dormitories at California State University, Fresno (CSUF).
The purpose of this research project was to develop an in-service fire safety
program that could be used to educate residence hall advisors of the causes of fatal fires
in dormitories and how to mitigate such tragedies.
Descriptive and action research methodologies were used to answer the following
What are the causal factors of fatal fires in dormitories, and do they exist within the CSUF residence halls?
What fire protection equipment and systems provide the best protection for residents of college dormitories and do they exist at CSUF?
3. What policies, procedures, and systems are in place to prevent fatal fires from occurring in the CSUF residence halls?
Procedures included a literature review using the Learning Resource Center at the
National Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The review sought factors
contributing to fatal fires in dormitories, the fire protection equipment and systems used
to mitigate such fires, and policies and procedures used to prevent these fires. A survey
questionnaire was administered to CSUF resident advisors in order to determine fire
safety awareness in the dorms. Interviews with the assistant housing director and the
deputy fire marshal were conducted to compare policies used to prevent dormitory fires.