Contact: Ed Comeau
Series of free posters, videos and online guide are designed to help RAs in delivering fire safety education
Niceville, FL, February 2, 2012 – An innovative set of integrated, multimedia tools are available for Resident Assistants to use in reaching out to the students in their residence halls. Developed by the Michael H. Minger Foundation, with the help of RAs and students, a series of posters, videos and web pages all blend together to provide invaluable fire safety information to students.
“This idea came when a parent was sitting in freshman orientation for his son and they were talking about how the RAs hold regular floor meetings to talk about important issues,” said Minger Foundation President Gail Minger. “When we looked into it, we had a difficult time finding resources that RAs could use for fire safety so we set out to create them.
Over 80% of fatal campus-related fires happen in off-campus homes, most recently in Poughkeepsie, New York, where three people lost their lives in a tragic fire. In addition, fires in apartment buildings in Boston and Brookline, as well as fires in Virginia and Michigan that destroyed two fraternities, injured students, some critically, all within the past few weeks. “Teaching students about fire safety while they are living in the residence halls is an invaluable opportunity before they move out and live off-campus,” added Mrs. Minger. “These are, literally, lessons for life.”
There are a series of eight posters with fire safety messages focusing on on-campus, off-campus and Greek fire safety that RAs can download for free and print out to use on bulletin boards on their floors. Each poster has a QR code on it that, when scanned with a smartphone, will take the students to a web page with more information and short videos. Each of the videos features RAs from Eastern Kentucky University talking about fire safety as well as students from Northeastern University. RAs from across the country were brought together through a Facebook group to assist in creating this program..
To help the RAs talk about fire safety during floor meetings, an RA Guide to Teaching Fire Safety was developed. This Guide has two sections, one focusing on topics such as candles, cooking, smoke alarms, smoking and fire sprinklers with fire safety messages developed by the National Fire Protection Association along with additional explanatory material from the Minger Foundation. The second part is a compilation of the posters and the material on each of the landing pages where the QR codes take the students. This is designed to help the RAs become familiar with the information that the students will be seeing. Both sections contain links to more resources available from the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association.
Since the Minger Foundation’s mission is to develop fire safety programs for college students with a focus on students with disabilities, the web site and videos have been developed with universal design in mind, such as closed-captioning. “By creating programs on fire safety for students with disabilities, we are creating fire safety programs for everyone,” said Mrs. Minger. Earlier, the Minger Foundation launched another series of videos focusing on fire safety for students with disabilities as well as a Guide to Teaching Fire Safety to Students with Disabilities which can also be found on the Foundation’s web site.
The posters, videos, landing pages and Guide can be found at http://www.mingerfoundation.org/projects/ra/.
This project was funded by a DHS Fire Prevention and Safety Grant to the Minger Foundation and was developed in conjunction with Campus Firewatch.
The non-profit Michael H. Minger Foundation was established in 2005 to honor the life of Michael H. Minger, an outstanding young man, who lost his life in a college dormitory fire. The purpose of the Foundation is to improve fire safety standards and enhance fire safety systems on college and university campuses, with a focus on fire safety for students with disabilities, and to educate parents and students and raise awareness of the reality and risk of campus fires.
PO Box 721, Niceville, FL ● 32588 ● (850) 621-5161