is encouraged to become the “Champion” of community risk reduction. The following
attitudes for successful risk reduction were discussed:
The executive fire officer must have a positive vision for the community risk reduction program.
The executive fire officer must become a catalyst within the community to make the vision a reality.
The executive fire officer must be personally committed to the philosophy of prevention (preparedness and mitigation).
The executive fire officer must be an active member of his or her community.
A relevant literature review was conducted for this research project with the
objective of answering three questions. First, the author sought factors concerning fatal
fires in dormitories. Second, the research sought fire protection equipment and systems
that are used to help mitigate the effects of fires in dormitories. Finally, policies and
procedures were sought that would provide assurance that a deadly fire would not occur
at the residence halls of California State University, Fresno.
Factors concerning Dorm Fires
According to Von Dietsch (1997) there were 1,437 dormitory fires per year from
1990 to 1994. An average of one person was killed each year, while 54 were injured as a
result of fires in dormitories. On average almost $5,573,900 in property damage occurred
each year. The causes of dormitory fires varied. Thirty percent were of incendiary or
suspicious origin. Cooking was the cause of 16 percent of dorm fires, and 12 percent
were of unknown origin. Smoking caused 11 percent of these fires. Those who died in
dormitory fires from 1990 to 1994 died in fires caused by smoking. Incendiary or