building inspections, monthly fire extinguisher inspections, and quarterly fire drills
through two full-time fire safety officials and 180 student employees.
Mallick (2000) researched fire safety policies and procedures in residence halls of
universities and colleges within the state of New York. His research was prompted by a
high number of dormitory fires occurring in New York State from 1996 to 1998. During
this time, an average of 160 dormitory fires had been reported. Mallick found there was a
lack of code enforcement in public and private colleges, a lack of mandatory fire safety
education programs for residence hall staff and students, and a lack of fixed automatic
fire sprinkler systems in approximately 85 percent of the residence halls in New York.
Mallick compared these results with those of Gold (2000) who described the fire
inspection practices of Seton Hall. Gold found there was a lack of inspections conducted
at Seton Hall between 1995 and 2000. An inspection conducted after the January 2000
fire that killed three-college freshman found numerous code violations including
unauthorized use of Christmas lights, extension cords, and excessive debris in the
dormitory rooms. Other, more serious violations were present, but were not specified.
Mallick sought standardized training programs that should be presented to
dormitory residents and staff. The video entitled, “Get Out and Stay Alive,” developed
by the Eau Claire (Wisconsin) Fire Department is available through the National Fire
Academy. This video presents numerous fire safety messages and testimonials from
parents who have lost children in dormitory fires. Mallick suggested the Eau Claire video
along with one entitled, “Ready To Respond” developed by the University of Maryland,
be included as an aggressive fire safety education program for college dormitories.