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LEADING COMMUNITY RISK REDUCTION - page 20 / 75

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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.

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