College students are notoriously messy, and even though we like to pretend that we have it all under control, we don’t always keep our living spaces in the best of conditions. “So what’s the big deal?” you may ask. “Why does the Office of Safety & Risk Management care if my room is a mess? I mean, it’s not like a messy room is a safety issue, right?”
Well. . . actually. . . .
Having a messy room really could cause you problems. If your room looks more like the picture on the left, you need to shoot for something a bit closer to the picture on the right. Messy, unorganized rooms really can lead to life-threatening situations. For example:
- Blocked Pathways: Blocked pathways are never okay. Even in the best of times, you could trip and find yourself with a sprained or broken ankle. When your life is on the line, however, a delay in exiting your room might be critical to your survival! There is no such thing as an acceptable delay! Don’t risk a sprained ankle or being trapped in your room during an emergency! Keep the pathways in your room free of debris and clutter!
- Fire Hazards: That stack of English papers may be something you need to keep, but storing them in a haphazard stack on the corner of your desk, or in a pile on the floor, may not be the best idea. Many fires are caused by combustibles being kept too close to a heat source, or by candles or other heat sources being placed on top of or being knocked onto combustibles. Don’t risk it. Keep your room organized and uncluttered.
Okay, this may sound a bit dramatic. However, here at UTC, a student’s hookah pipe fell onto a pile of clothes and started a fire that gutted one of our dorms. Luckily, no one was injured, but the students living in the dorm lost personal property and the fire caused almost $100,000 worth of damages.
So don’t just toss those clothes in the corner. Don’t stack books and papers in piles waiting to be toppled. Take time to organize and clean your dorm room regularly. It really could safe your life!