Police Chief offers fire safety tips for students

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According to University of  Indianapolis Police Chief David Selby, fire and fire safety are to be taken very seriously. When it comes to these matters, he said there is no room to fool around.

“You really have to respect fire,” Selby said. “It can do so much damage so fast.”

Selby encourages students to spend some time looking over the Fire Safety tab under the Public Safety section on MyUIndy. For students with only a few minutes to spare, he suggests looking at the very bottom link. The link titled “7 Fire Safety Tips for College Students” leads to a list of basic fire safety tips and a fire safety video that is geared toward college students.

Graphic by Kyle Dunbar

Above all else, Selby believes students should educate themselves and look out for their safety. One of his strongest recommendations is to make sure that each student memorizes the escape plan for their dorm or creates one for their private residence.

“Educate yourself,” Selby said. “Look out for yourself. Go in there [your residence] when you can, look for those exits, look for those smoke detectors, look for the carbon monoxide detectors, look for wiring issues and things that are not safe. Are the doors easy to get out of? Are there windows you could get out of? Is the building up to code? Are you seeing old wiring?”

On campus, residence halls are up to code and are carefully looked after, Selby said. However, when it comes to commuter students, he is extra concerned.

“It’s more than just here… but where I mainly get most concerned for students is when they rent in the neighborhoods,” Selby said. “A lot of the landlords don’t keep the homes up to code, don’t keep smoke detectors in there, don’t have carbon monoxide detectors in there. The wiring is not up to code and whether or not there are two exits to the building.”

Since Selby cannot personally go out into students’ off-campus residences and ensure the homes are safe to live in, he has taken the time to compile many fire safety resources that are useful to on- and off-campus students.

“I, myself, can’t get out into these places, so I try to get students to think about that piece [the safety] of it,” Selby said. “As you can tell, I’ve designed that whole fire safety piece around families. There’s stuff on there to educate children. There is stuff on there to help you develop a plan for your home, what’s going to be your evacuation plan and things like that.”

Selby reassures students that UIndy’s campus is very safe, that when it comes to the dorms, fire safety is not really an issue. However, accidents can still happen when carelessness is not addressed.

Selby believes fire safety comes in a wide range of actions, but it is all important. He warns students to be careful around an open flame of any kind and above all else to evacuate a building if the alarm sounds.

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