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Campus & Community


September 27, 2019


The second week of October is Fire Prevention Week – the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with some fire safety facts, tips and prevention services offered by Drexel’s Department of Public Safety.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sponsors its annual Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 6­­–12, 2019. The NFPA provides a lot of important information on its website, including the most common fire causes and risks. Here are some data points from NFPA that are particularly relevant to the University community:

  • Fires in residence halls are more common during the evening hours, between 5–11 p.m. and on weekends.
  • Unattended cooking is a leading cause of fire. Roughly six out of seven fires in residence halls are started by cooking.
  • Most heating fire deaths involve stationary or portable space heaters. A leading factor contributing to ignition is heating equipment too close to things that can burn.
  • On average, 23 home candle fires are reported each day. The top three days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
  • Three of every five candle fires occur when some form of combustible material was too close to the candle.
  • Nationally, there is an average of 3,810 fires in college residence halls and Greek housing each year. Since January 2000, these fires have resulted in 132 fatalities (94 percent of which occurred in off-campus and Greek housing).

Take Precautions – Fire Safety Tips

Cooking and Open Flame:

  • Pay attention when cooking and stay close to the heat source.
  • If you must leave the room even for a short period, turn off the stove.
  • Turn off all burners and ovens when you finish cooking.
  • Heat oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing and add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains, away from your stovetop.
  • Never pour water on a grease fire.
  • Do not leave candles unattended and keep them away from flammable or combustible materials.


    Avoid overloading your outlets.
    Avoid overloading your outlets.
  • Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets where they can get damaged.
  • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
  • Only use one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc.) plugged into an outlet at a time.
  • Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and plug strips should not be used.

In Drexel Buildings:  

Fire and Emergency Services Specialist Christopher Platz reviews an Emergency Procedures Bulletin.
Fire and Emergency Services Specialist Christopher Platz reviews an Emergency Procedures Bulletin.

  • Take fire alarms seriously. Evacuate immediately, and do not use elevators.
  • Learn your building’s evacuation plan and points of exit. Emergency Procedures Bulletins are posted in Drexel buildings, near entrances or elevators.
  • Do not tamper with fire or life safety equipment.
  • Do not prop open fire exit doors. As you exit during a fire alarm, close all doors behind you.
  • Smoking is prohibited inside all Drexel facilities and within 20 feet of any entrance, exit, operable window or air intake (includes the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, vaping and e-cigarettes).
  • Candles and incense, and any improper use of a flame, are prohibited in all Drexel buildings.

In Case of an Emergency at Drexel

In case of any emergency (including fire) on a Drexel campus, get to a safe location and call Drexel Public Safety (DPS) at 215.895.2222. DPS dispatchers are in direct communication with the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia Fire Department. You may also call 911 during any emergency.

State that you are reporting a fire, and know your location. Give the emergency dispatcher as much information as you can, including your exact address, building name and floor, if applicable.

How Can We Help

DPS’ Fire and Emergency Services Unit provides outreach, education, training, enforcement and collaboration with the Drexel community to promote fire safety. Here are some examples of what we do:

  • Plan and oversee emergency evacuation drills in all campus buildings and residence halls regularly to comply with the Philadelphia Fire Code; inspect campus buildings for fire code compliance.
  • Provide inspection and permitting for any activity on campus that requires torch work or hot work (cutting or grinding).
  • Work with fraternities and sororities to promote fire code compliance and supervise evacuation drills in Greek housing.
  • Host prevention and preparedness tabletop exercises for administrators and student organizations in partnership with government institutions such as FEMA and the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security.
  • Support a University-wide Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) that shares information about prevention and preparedness and manages building evacuations during emergencies. BERT is open to all faculty and professional staff. To learn more about BERT, please contact Madonna Calderoni, Assistant Director, Fire and Emergency Services at 215.895.6967 or

Contact Us

Fire and Emergency Services encourages student organizations and administrative and academic units to request more information and/or interactive training sessions about education and prevention by contacting Dave Hollinger, Director, Fire and Emergency Services at 215.895.5908 or  

Drexel University’s fire statistics are outlined in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report:  


Register for the R.A.D. Self Defense Program

The fall course schedule and registration form can be found on the Drexel Public Safety website.

Coffee with a Cop

@Starbucks, 34th Street and Lancaster Avenue

Oct. 2, 9–11 a.m.

@Wawa, 34th and Market Streets

Oct. 2, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Join members of Drexel Police, Philadelphia Police Department, and University City District for free coffee, pastries and fun conversation.

Public Safety & U Presentations

Oct. 8, 9–10 a.m. or Oct. 16, 1–2 p.m.

Steinbright Career Development Center

3201 Arch Street, Suite 350

Drexel employees can attend a workplace safety workshop hosted by DPS. These workshops focus on a variety of safety and life skills, including techniques for dealing with disruptive or violent behavior, promoting safety in an urban environment, what to do during active shooter scenarios and emergency incidents such as fire.

Register for these sessions in Career Pathway, accessed via DrexelOne.

Market Street Run for Blue

Oct. 27, 8 a.m.

Race will start at Front and Dock streets

Run/Walk to raise money and awareness for the Philadelphia Police Foundation. Participants can register and join “Drexel University Police Department” team. Learn more and register on the Run for Blue website.

Emergency Numbers
215.895.2222 or 911
TTY: 215.571.4141

Walking Escorts

To learn more about Drexel Public Safety visit

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