A bill has been introduced in congress in an effort provide college students with fire safety education and training.

Seton Hall University (Image courtesy of Facebook)

The legislative efforts were inspired by the tragic fire at a Seton Hall University dormitory more than 10 years ago. The measure is sponsored by U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Peter King (R-NY) and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).

“I am proud to reintroduce the Campus Fire Safety Education Act with Congressman King and Senator Lautenberg," says Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees. "This vital legislation will work to prevent tragedies like the catastrophic fire at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, in 2000. That fire killed three young freshmen and wounded 58 other students in a dorm on campus.”

This legislation seeks to create a new competitive grant program at institutions of higher education that will increase fire safety awareness among college students, help improve their fire training, and save lives. It’s designed to gives colleges and universities the resources they need to educate their students about the importance of fire safety and help ensure fire-safe behavior during their time in college and beyond.

"It is critical that college students have the tools they need to prevent fires and react swiftly and confidently when they happen," says Lautenberg. "This legislation will ensure colleges have the resources to equip every student with important fire safety training. Our hearts were broken after the fire at Seton Hall.”

Funding through the legislation may be used to initiate, expand, or improve a fire safety education program on their campus. Schools can apply on their own or in collaboration with a nonprofit fire safety organization or public safety department, and may include a fraternity and sorority. Since a high proportion of student fires occur off-campus, schools will be encouraged to use these funds to educate students living both on- and off-campus.