Since January of 2000, Campus Fire Watch, a national college fire safety resource, has identified more than 100 campus related fire deaths across the United States. The Eugene Fire Marshal’s Office conducts annual fire inspections in the recognized Greek fraternity and sorority houses at the University of Oregon.
In the Greek fire safety program, which is funded by a contract with the University, house managers and students are provided a fire safety checklist specifically designed for these types of occupancies. These checklists cover the majority of potential safety issues. During the actual inspections, a member of the house management and a student occupant are required to be present. Education in fire safety theory is provided along with the inspection, with the goal of fostering a long- term commitment to fire safety.
The contract also provides for an annual Greek fire safety academy for students. This year’s focus will be on safety items directly under students’ control, such as use of candles, understanding of fire protection detection equipment, and safe behavior during large gatherings.