I am just back from a college tour of Lafayette College in Easton, PA with my 17-year-old son. Lafayette is a GREAT school, and my wife, my son and I were all very impressed. It is certainly high up on his list.
As we toured the campus we were taken to lots of different locations -- the library, a dining hall, classrooms, lecture halls and recreational facilities. One of our stops was in one of the residence halls. As we looked around at the "accommodations," I asked my tour guide a question that I strongly believe every parent of prospective college-age students should ask:
"Are ALL of the dorms equipped with automatic fire sprinkler systems?"
All of the other parents on the tour said, "Good question," perhaps with a vague memory of the 2000 Seton Hall University dorm fire that killed three students and seriously injured many more -- some permanently.
The fire started as a prank by two students. It quickly spread, releasing blinding, acrid smoke, and toxic fumes.
Had automatic fire sprinklers been installed, officials believe the fire would have been quickly contained, with minimal injuries (if any) and no loss of life.
Don't send your son or daughter off to college in a dorm that doesn't offer this simple, but essential life safety protection.
But don't just take my word for it. For more information, go to The Center for Campus Fire Safety website. The information you learn could save your child's life.