BU Today


Fire Safety Goes Online

New Web page lists best practices, on and off campus

BU’s new fire safety Web site follows through on a pledge to get more information about safety and prevention to the BU community.

Following a pledge to provide more information about fire safety and prevention to the Boston University community, whether they are on campus or off, the University has created a new Fire Safety Web site offering guidelines, resources, and facts about fire hazards.
“What we are trying to do,” says Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, “is increase the discussion about personal safety and fire safety and look for ways to get more information out there to students, both on and off campus.”

Elmore says the site, which was created with input from student groups, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, the BU Police, and the Offices of Judicial Affairs and Residence Life, offers general information on fire safety, as well as tips and checklists that could save lives.
“We’re at that point in time where some of our students may be thinking about living off campus,” says Elmore, who notified the student body on Tuesday of the site’s launch. “This is a Web site that gives them some things to consider and some conversations they should have with the owners of their off-campus residences. There are some interesting and impressive pieces here — there is videotaped footage of a Christmas tree that’s set on fire in a room, and you can see just how fast that tree goes up and how fast it starts to consume the room.”

The site is part of the University’s new fire prevention and education initiative. That initiative also includes special inspections of the fire systems in all University buildings, a series of discussions about personal safety with the Residence Hall Associations, a forum with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and the Boston University Police Department, distribution of a list of safety tips to apartment buildings in surrounding neighborhoods, and new rules requiring all resident assistants to meet with their students to discuss fire safety and prevention standards. University officials are also preparing information packets to educate incoming students and their parents at this summer’s first-year orientation sessions.

The fire safety campaign follows two deadly fires at off-campus apartments near the University. A February 24 fire at 21 Aberdeen St., believed to have started from a candle left burning while students slept, caused the deaths of Rhiannon McCuish (CAS’08) and Stefan Adelipour (SMG’07) and seriously injured Steven Boursiquot (CGS’05, CAS’07). A blaze on March 16 at 49 St. Mary’s St., Brookline, killed Derek Crowl, a 19-year-old student from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, who was visiting a friend at BU. 

“The Fire Safety site is particularly important now,” says Elmore. “We have been touched by these tragedies.” 

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.