Historically, the administrators of the universities have been facing a challenge to provide a secure and safe environment to all the students, and majorly to give protection to the students who reside on the campus. Syracuse University has taken its security responsibility earnestly. At this time, security departments and the university police are predominantly responsible for developing programs that comprehensively provide safety for university fraternity. This reflection paper focuses the discussion on fires in the residential housing of universities.
Dominic's story is heartrending as vividly depicted in the video. The problem of fire safety in residential areas within the universities has now become relevant than ever. Dominic was a very young productive man, especially in football. A kind and loving boy as narrated by the mother who has deeply suffered the loss. It was so clear that Dominic's future was promising. However, the bright future was brought to an untimely end by the incident of fire in university. An agonizing mother encourages parents to not only send their children to study to face the world but also to take the parental responsibility in ensuring wherever they are staying is safe.
Fires in the universities' residential areas are majorly caused by the students' negligence, and handling fire carelessly for instance smoking in inappropriate places and use of an open source of fires in the areas of residence. Equally, the fires are caused by violations that result from the use of the electrical system and electric heating appliances. Fires experienced in the residential areas in the universities are also triggered by the type of wiring done in the dorms which are faulty at times if it is not carefully inspected before a student is allocated the room. Lastly, the students are human, and at times they do make wrong or bad choices. This choices and behavior may have costly consequences like the fire. Honestly, according to the video, the results are painful as lives are lost, equipment, and property gets destroyed into ashes.
However, regardless of the cause of fires in the residential area in universities, I tend to believe that the real issue in handling the fires is lack of knowledge about the fire prevention. Each university has got a safety department that has a role to set and enforce the fire safety policies and regular inspections in the university. The safety department should ensure that the buildings where the students reside ought to have the sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, and fire alarms. The unit as well should ensure they carry out fire drills regularly.
There is a common mistake we often commit just as Dominic's mother says in the video. We usually ignore the safety of our children in the universities. It is true that in the hotels and our offices we have sprinklers and regular inspections of fire safety. The question remains have we ensure the same fire safety in the universities where the students live? The safety of the students in the residential areas in the universities is paramount. It should never be overlooked. Awareness should be created to ensure the students are aware of fire safety measures in the areas they live while studying.
For many students, the last time they ever had fire safety training can probably be in the grade school. It is thus crucial for the students residing in the university to know the risks of fire and what prevention action can save their lives. Therefore, the students should cook where they are allowed only, keep an eye on whatever they are cooking if especially it is cooking at very high temperatures and keep the door closed and unplug the unit if a fire starts in the microwave. The candles they light just like Dominic should never be left unattended and should be kept away from things that can burn. If any student is a smoker, he or she should ensure that they do not toss hot butts of cigarettes in the trash. The students equally have to be made aware that they should not overload the electric outlet, they should never use extensions on large home appliances like the refrigerators and that they keep the light bulbs and light fixtures from some things that can burn.
In as much as the students have a responsibility to carry out the fire safety measures to prevent fires in their residential areas, the university equally has a role to play. The university ought to provide a program to teach the students about fire safety. It has to install the automatic fire sprinkler correctly, and smoke alarms in each housing facility and the alarms have to be regularly tested. It is also essential for the universities to conduct regular fire drills and evacuation plans. The rooms where students live should periodically be inspected ensuring the fire extinguishers are working and strategically positioned for easy accessibility and lastly ensure the exit windows and doors are functional.
Indeed, if the universities and students just follow and adhere to the simple fire safety measures, then I believe many cases of the university fires can be prevented. It is indeed so sad to see young lives being lost through some cause that can be averted. It is the dream of every parent to see their children grow up and achieve their goals. But if these goals are going to be brought to a premature end by the death of some students in fires at the universities just like Dominic then it is distressing.
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