Sens. Biden and Carper Announce “Campus Fire Safety Month”

Late Wednesday night the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.), co-chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and co-sponsored by Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), that designates September 2007 as “Campus Fire Safety Month.” The resolution encourages college administrators and local elected officials to take several steps toward increasing campus fire safety, including implementing educational programs, evaluating living conditions on and around campus, and increasing the use of fire detection systems.

Senator Biden highlighted the fact that many fire-related incidents on America’s college campuses are preventable with proper fire safety measures.

“Every year, too many of our nation’s campuses are plagued with tragic deaths resulting from fires,” said Senator Biden. “The real travesty is that, with increased and diligent awareness techniques, many of those lives could have been saved. We must do all we can to ensure that our students are learning and living in the safest environment possible; this resolution takes us one step closer to that goal.”

Senator Carper, senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the fire service and our nation’s homeland security efforts, said, "When we send our children off to college, we shouldn’t take their safety for granted. This designation will help bring to light the importance that colleges and universities should always place on safety, and help provide ways to ensure these preventable tragedies never happen again."

Since January 2000, at least 99 people have died in campus-related fires, and a number of fatal fires have occurred in buildings in which the fire safety systems have been compromised or disabled by the occupants.