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MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY (WCBI) -September is campus fire safety month and the state’s fire marshall is urging statewide observance.

A major fire occurring on or off campus is often the last thing on the minds of college students. “I guess its not something I think about on a daily basis, but like we have like little things on the back of the door that tells us like where to go if there is a fire and things like that,” said Grace Cooley, MSU Student.

Starkville fire fighters perform inspections daily. They focus their efforts on campus residences where students live and sleep. Safety is a top priority at dorms, fraternity and sorority houses.

“Make sure the buildings are safe. All the fire protection features are in working order like they are suppose to be. In addition to doing inspections for fire prevention, we also do fire drills. We actually run fire drills once a semester,” said Mark McCurdy, Starkville Fire Marshal. “But it wasn’t at a weird time, like some people have then like four am, except I’m not sure that thats a drill. I think thats just people pulling the fire alarm,” said Cooley. “And we always have individuals that you know kind of linger around or don’t leave the building so we more or less catch those individuals and then we’ll put them through a specialized one hour fire safety class,” said McCurdy. “Yeah, I just kind a walked outside. Some people are upset but it didn’t really bother me,” said Cooley.

With education, cooperation, and constant awareness, fire deaths can be kept at a minimum. “Then of course throughout the year we have handout materials that we hand out with fire safety, fire prevention material on them. To try to help educate them on the procedures and what they are suppose to do and not do,” said McCurdy.

More severe are fires occurring off campus, unfortunately during the 2011-2012 academic year, 9 college students perished in off campus fires in Mississippi. “We’ve had a couple fires around our neighborhood that just seeing the destruction from that is pretty terrifying. Realizing that it can happen pretty quick by just forgetting that you left the stove on or a straightening iron on,” said Emily Howe, MSU Student. “And again thats where we encourage people to call us and let us come out and do a courtesy inspection to look and see if there is any code violations or anything that we see that could be a potential risk. That we can come out and hopefully recommend changes to make them safer,” said McCurdy.

To schedule a fire safety courtesy inspection contact the Starkville Fire Department.

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