CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia officials are encouraging fire safety as students head back to school.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has proclaimed September as Campus Fire Safety Month in conjunction with the National Center for Campus Fire Safety.
Tomblin says the month gives officials the opportunity to remind students of fire safety practices and ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 166 fatal fires reported on or within 3 miles of a college campus from January 2000 through June 2014. Of the victims, 144 died in off-campus housing.
Officials say four common factors in deadly campus fires are: lack of fire sprinkler systems; missing or disabled smoke alarms; careless disposal of smoking materials and impaired judgment from alcohol use.