Senator Sherrod Brown introduces fire safety bill named for Stephanie Tubbs Jones
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced the introduction of The of 2009. The late Congresswoman Tubbs Jones introduced the College Fire Prevention Act in each of the last four sessions of Congress and passed a resolution regarding Campus Fire Safety Month. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Tubbs Jones' successor in Congress.
"We owe it our college students and to Stephanie to invest in fire prevention and suppression technologies," Brown said. "This legislation will improve the safety of Ohio's student housing and will prevent deaths. Stephanie was a champion of fire safety and a voice for young people. This legislation honors her legacy by protecting Ohio students."
There are between 1,500 and 1,800 fires each year in college residence halls, dormitories, and sorority or fraternity houses. In Ohio, there have been 13 deaths and 36 related campus incidents since 2000. When fire suppression technology is present in student housing, the chance of surviving a fire increases by 97 percent and property damage is lowered by 35 percent.
The Stephanie Tubbs Jones College Fire Prevention Act establishes an incentive program within the Department of Education (DOE) to promote the installation of fire sprinkler systems, or other fire suppression or prevention technologies, in qualified student housing or dormitories.
The program will provide competitive matching grants that will fund up to half of the installation costs and priority will be given to applicants that demonstrate the greatest financial need.
The legislation would reserve at least 10 percent of the funds in grant program for historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, and at least 10 percent of the funds for fraternities and sororities.
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