MARQUETTE — With college students starting off their first week of classes for the year, something that needs to be addressed is fire safety in campus dorm rooms.

“I think we’ve been a leader on fire safety in the state, in terms of our residence halls, for many years,” said Director of Housing and Residence Life at NMU, Jeff Korpi.

Recently, the state fire marshal released a safety guide to help guide students into making sure a disaster never has to happen.

Equipped with the best tools they have to offer, Housing and Residence Director, Jeff Korpi says Northern Michigan University was one of the first campuses in the state to add sprinkler systems to every dorm room on campus.”

“We were one of the first schools in the state and in the region to have our entire residence hall rooms fully ‘sprinkled.’ We started that project in the early 2000’s – it was certainly something we incorporated into our new residence halls, ‘The Woods.’ They have a state of the art fire system that works with our public safety and other offices on campus.”

These first few weeks are the first time that students have ever lived in the brand new, state of the art, ‘Wood’ dorms, and Fire and Security specialists on campus say that the building staff and student Resident Advisers have received the training they need to ensure the safety of everyone on campus.

“We follow all the state and federal requirements here on campus for fire alarm and device testing, making sure the systems work prior to school starting,” said campus Fire and Security Specialist, Lee Gould. “We train all the students with that, and they get an email every year telling that what to do – if the fire alarm goes off, evacuate the buildings.”

NMU itself says their prepared to handle situations involving fire, but are the students being conscientious of what they can do in their dorms to prevent a fire in the first place? Simple steps can be taken to avoid an accident altogether.

“They can make sure they’re using their outlets appropriately, not plugging too much into them. It’s prohibited to use any open flames. If the fire alarm does go off, get out of the building, and make sure your door is shut.”

And for those that live in on campus apartments, easy things like taking the time to make sure their stove top and oven is turned off can make the biggest difference. While there may be a stigma that students aren’t being fully aware of their surroundings in the dorm areas, Jeff Korpi says that during his time as director of housing and residence, he’s been impressed with students’ behavior when it comes to safety.

“We have 2,500 students that live in our residence halls on campus, and I think they get the message loud and clear about what’s appropriate on campus, and we have great students that adhere to that every year,” added Korpi.