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BC gets top grades for fire safety

A nationally recognized source of information about colleges and universities is giving Boston College high marks in a critical area: Fire safety.

The 2006 edition of The Princeton Review's The Best 361 Colleges: The Smart Studentís Guide to Colleges gives Boston College its top score of 99 for fire safety.

According to Princeton Review the rating measures how well prepared a school is to prevent or respond to campus fires, specifically in residence halls. The scale of possible scores is 60-99; the average score was 85.

"This top score is a goal weíve been striving to attain as we work very hard to keep Boston College students as safe as possible," said Vice President for Facilities Management Thomas Devine. "Now we will have to work just as hard to maintain it."

Said Environmental Health and Safety Director Keith Kidd, "Fire Safety is a team effort at Boston College that could not be accomplished without the help of many people, supported by the best facilities and equipment."

Working in conjunction with the Center for Campus Fire Safety, The Princeton Review asked schools to answer several questions about such topics as the percentage of rooms protected by sprinkler systems, percentage of rooms with a smoke alarm, fire resistance ratings on furniture, fire emergency procedures, and staff training.

Boston College has 30 residence halls which house 7,300 students during the academic year.

Kidd said a key facet of BCís fire safety success is the work of the Residential Life Fire Safety Committee, a cooperative effort between Environmental Health & Safety, Residential Life, Facilities Services, Student Affairs and the Boston College Police Department.

"We have to give credit to a lot of people from across campus - and now we have to challenge them to sustain this success," he said.

Kidd praised the efforts of Fire Safety Officer Donald Wood and Residential Life Assistant Director for Judicial Affairs Brent Ericson and other Residential Life administrators who share the responsibilities of conducting fire safety inspections in the residence halls throughout the year.

Other fire safety programs at BC include fire safety training and a fire extinguisher maintenance program not to mention efforts undertaken to remain fully compliant with local and state fire safety regulations and codes.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done on a daily basis to maintain fire safety," said Kidd. "I know that we will continue to be up to the challenge."

For more information on fire safety at Boston College and to learn about other environmental, health and safety issues see the EH&S Office web site.


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