During the 2015-2016 school year as a Field Executive for Theta Chi Fraternity, I conducted visits at over 25 chapters and colonies from Terre Haute, Indiana all the way up to Oswego, New York. Every time a visit is conducted a Field Executive makes a presentation to the chapter on the policies of FIPG (Fraternal Information & Programming Group). The policies of FIPG cover four main areas: Alcohol and Drugs, Hazing, Sexual Abuse and Harassment, and Fire/Life Safety (http://fipg.org/). Fire/Life Safety remains an important area for our chapters to focus on.
That’s why I wanted to discuss some simple ways to make sure your living quarters are safe from a fire. Here are a few of the FIPG guidelines to keep in mind:
- Meeting local fire, health, and safety codes/complying with engineering standards are best done through the owner of the property whether it’s an alumni corporation, the school or a 3rd party landlord.
- If you see something unsafe, speak up!
- Posting emergency phone numbers (fire/police/ambulance) in common areas is an extremely easy task. Create, print, and hang up.
- Having evacuation routes posted on the back of each door throughout the house is also a must.
- Possessing a gun is often not permissible on college campuses and never in fraternity houses. Most, if not all, school police stations have gun lockers free for students to use.
- Candles can make your room smell like a gingerbread house; they can also turn the house into a giant campfire. If you are really determined to make your room smell better check your local grocery store. Plug-in air fresheners cost no more than $2 apiece.
Is your house in need of renovations to make it safer and more livable for current and future generations of Theta Chi brothers? The Norwich Housing Corporation, a not-for-profit lender that provides housing loans to alumni-led house corporations associated with chapters of Theta Chi Fraternity, offers Life Safety Loans for these types situations. These loans are offered for financing housing upgrades that are necessary for the reduction of serious safety risks. For more information visit https://www.thetachi.org/the-norwich-housing-corporation/. If you believe that your house would qualify for this loan and are interested email Jim Powell, Chief Financial Officer and Associate Executive Director at JPowell@thetachi.org.
For more information, check out these past blog posts written by Brother Peter Mulvihill, Epsilon/Worcester Polytechnic Institute, ’78. Pete is the chapter advisor for our Beta Phi chapter at Nevada. He is the recently retired Nevada State Fire Marshal.
Nick Hoke, Field Executive