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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Preventable Factors Lead to High Number of College Students Killed in Off-Campus Fires

From USATODAY.com: According to a USA TODAY study, 54 college students killed in off-campus fires since 2000. Though such devastating fires are infrequent, they follow patterns that largely are preventable.

One-quarter of these fires followed a party, and in 59% of them, at least one of the dead students had been drinking, the USA TODAY analysis found. In 21 cases in which an autopsy report showed the deceased's blood alcohol content, the median level was .12%, and the highest was .304%. A person with an alcohol reading of .08% is considered by the nation's traffic laws to be too drunk to drive.

Deliberately set fires were a common thread in the incidents studied by USA TODAY. They played a role in one-fifth of all fires studied and one-fourth of the 54 off-campus deaths.Also, in at least 28% of the fatal fires studied, smoke detectors were either missing or disconnected. Investigators suspect that number is higher, but because infernos destroy the devices, whether the smoke detector sounded could not be determined in more than half of the fires that killed college students.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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