Bill Would Provide $100 Million a Year for Fire Prevention

Bill Would Provide $100 Million a Year for Fire Prevention
By Charles Dervarics

New legislation from a Congressional Black Caucus member would provide $100 million a year to help colleges and universities install fire sprinkler systems or other fire prevention programs.

The College Fire Prevention Act from Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, would provide $100 million a year from 2004 through 2008.

At least 10 percent, or $10 million, would go to Black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges.

Fatal fires at Seton Hall University and the University of North Carolina during the past decade illustrate the fire hazards present at some institutions, according to Jones.

The bill would provide an incentive to install sprinkler systems or other preventive technology in student housing and dormitories.

In addition to the aid to minority-serving institutions, the bill would set aside at least $10 million for fire prevention at fraternity and sorority houses. The North Carolina fire in 1996 killed five students at a fraternity house.

Those seeking funds would have to provide matching grants of up to half the total project costs.

The bill, H.R. 1613, was referred to the Education and the Workforce Committee.

For more information about the legislation, contact Jones’ office at (202) 225-7032.

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