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DeerJoe McIntyre/staff photographer

A fire extinguisher is mounted on the wall Tuesday in the lobby of Old Main on the SUNY Cortland campus. The college uses orientation programs to educate students on safe ways to exit buildings and other procedures in responding to fire alarms.

Colleges put priority on fire safety

By NICK GRAZIANO
Staff Reporter

You are drifting into a deep sleep, been so for about the past three hours, and then BAM!
A deafening screech hits your ears, vibrating the inside of your head and pulling your heart into your throat.
The dreaded fire alarm.
And if you are in college, this fire alarm will be a common routine. But a vital one.
Fire safety on college campuses is not something any school takes lightly — especially now, with college back in session and students living in residence halls.
Prepping students on what they can do to be safe starts before they even get to the college, according to Beau Saul, the director of public safety at Tompkins Cortland Community College. During early orientation, students are taught what to do in certain situations and what guidelines the schools have in place.
For both TC3 and SUNY Cortland, appliances such as hot plates, toasters and microwaves are not allowed in residence halls. Students are also not allowed to have candles, due to the risk of the open flame, and cannot smoke in the buildings.
SUNY Cortland has become a smoke-free campus, which Frederic Pierce, director of communications for the college, said was meant to not only create a healthier environment around campus but to help eliminate the potential for any accidental fires.

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