Since January 2000, over 100 people have been killed in campus-related fires. The 2006/2007 academic year was the most fatal one recorded, with 20 fire deaths occurring across the United States. Congress has taken notice. Last summer, the Senate incorporated important right-to-know language in the Higher Education Amendments Act (S. 1642) to provide critical information to prospective students and their parents on the level of fire safety at colleges and universities across the nation. On February 7, the House of Representatives approved the College Opportunity and Affordability Act (H.R. 4137), which incorporates the text of other right-to-know legislation (H.R. 592). H.R. 4137 also includes the text of H.R. 642, the College Fire Prevention Act, which establishes a matching grants program for the installation of detection and suppression systems in residence halls and fraternities/sororities.
NEMA has consistently championed important life safety legislation in conjunction with the firefighting and life safety community. It is gratifying that Congress is taking action to protect students.