ST. CLOUD -- Do you know what to do in the event of a fire? State fire officials are reminding parents and students to brush up on their fire safety plans as the new school year begins.

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State Fire Marshal Jim Smith says whether your child is in preschool or their last year in college it's important to brush up on your fire safety plans.

You may have been in one classroom last year and now you are in a different wing of the school. Now the fire alarm rings, where do you go? So make sure you know where the exits are.

Smith says large school fires have decline in recent years, thanks to the continued efforts area schools have made in practicing their fire safety plans.

As far as major school fires that trigger student evacuation and sprinklers running, we just are not seeing them anymore which is a tremendous success.

Smith says they still get calls about dumper fires started at school, but those are typically handled before fire crews arrive.

As for college students, Smith says students living off campus are more at risk for house fires than students living in the dorms.

Many apartments and homes converted for student housing do not have sprinklers. So the probability of a fire increasing in size are magnified within those types of structures.

He reminds college students if you're living off campus, make sure your smoke detectors work, locate the fire extinguishers and know where the exits are if a fire should occur.


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