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Oklahoma State University

Campus Fire Safety Month

Campus Fire Safety Month

With the increased dependence on electronics and electrical appliances, many have found that there are not enough electrical outlets to support the growing number of gadgets. Attempts to charge and use many of these simultaneously can lead to improper usage of aftermarket accessories, increased risk of fire, and even equipment malfunctions. According to the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association, in 2017, electrical malfunctions accounted for 8,200 fires and over $431 million in damages to non-residential buildings. During the same year, electrical malfunctions were the cause of 2% of fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and off-campus housing facilities.

Ways to reduce electrical fires and malfunctions:

  • Plug large appliances like refrigerators and microwaves directly into wall outlets.
  • Install additional outlets when more than one power strip is needed.
  • Only use power strips and surge protectors that have over-current protection built in.
  • Plug power strips and surge protectors directly into the wall. They must not be used in conjunction with extension cords or daisy-chained together.
  • Unplug extension cords when they are not being used. They are for temporary use only.
  • Ensure that all electrical items including extension cords are certified by a nationally recognized independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek, or Canadian Standards Association.
  • Keep electrical appliances and cords safely away from bedding, curtains, clothing, loose papers, and other flammable material.
  • Always use the proper charger for electronic devices and ensure that aftermarket chargers provide the proper charge, current, and voltage.
  • Always charge electronics like cell phones on an open, flat surface. Never charge a phone in bed or in a closed environment that could cause the phone to overheat and start a fire.
  • Never tack or nail an electrical cord to any surface or run cords across traffic paths under rugs or furniture.
  • Discard or repair damaged electronics. Damaged electronics should not be used because they can cause an electrical shock or start a fire.

Do not forget that members of our Fire and Life Safety team will be setting up booths across the campus to answer questions and allow those who stop by the opportunity to use the Bullex fire extinguisher simulator. There are only a few opportunities left, and participants who like us on Facebook will be entered into a drawing for a free t-shirt!   

Below is the booth schedule. Our team members will be set up each day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

- September 23 outside of the University Store in the Student Union

- September 28, Kerr Drummond

- September 30, outside of the University Store in the Student Union

For any questions or concerns regarding electronic restrictions in dormitories, please visit the Housing and Residential Life website or contact them at (405) 744-5592. For any other electrical safety questions, please contact EHS at (405) 744-7241 or via email at