Program Keeps Students Studying Abroad Fire Safe

Nov. 5, 2013

St. Louis, MO -- A new program called Passport to Fire Safety aims to improve the safety of U.S. students studying abroad by equipping students with portable fire safety products such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and escape ladders.

The program was introduced at the Campus Fire Forum, the annual conference of the Center for Campus Fire Safety. Passport to Fire Safety is led by a coalition of organizations dedicated to protecting students abroad including the Center for Campus Fire Safety, the leading authority on campus fire safety issues, and the Jasmine Jahanshahi Fire Safety Foundation, which was founded in Jasmine's memory after she died in a Paris fire in 2011.

There were no working smoke alarms in the residential fire that killed three other exchange students and seriously injured dozens. Kidde Fire Safety and George Washington University are also part of the coalition.

The program is important because more students are crossing borders than ever before, according to Paul D. Martin, president of the Center for Campus Fire Safety. In fact, the Institute of International Education reports approximately 280,000 U.S. students studied abroad in 2012 -- and those numbers are expected to continue climbing.

"For many college students, the opportunity to study abroad is one of their greatest adventures," Martin said. "As preparation often centers on personal safety and cultural differences, students, parents and universities may overlook the risk of fires in countries where smoke alarms and other fire safety devices may not be present or up-to-date."

Passport to Fire Safety will:  Increase students' awareness of fire prevention methods; Provide students with an enhanced level of standardized protection while living and studying abroad; Help students and universities navigate differing fire safety standards differ drastically from country to country; and get the appropriate fire safety products in the right place at the right time

The program is expected to be up and running by Jan. 1, 2014.

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