Every resident student gets warned about dorm fires. But Public Safety’s mock fire demonstration aimed to make that warning a little more clear by setting two mock dorm rooms ablaze.
“The first one we set off, there’s a delayed reaction with the alarm and there is no sprinkler, so essentially everything burns,” said Investigator Dan Peeler, Public Safety’s fire prevention officer. “The second one, in terms of time, there’s a huge difference. Within a minute and a half, two minutes, the smoke detector is sounding. Within another minute or so, the sprinklers are activated to contain the fire and maybe put the fire out.”
Public Safety and the fire departments both hope that the demonstrations remind everyone that fire safety is important, no matter where you live.
“Regardless of how much we take safety seriously and put in the alarm systems, things can still go wrong and you need to know what’s gonna happen and what you should do.”
Students in attendance say they got the message.
“I thought it was scary that could happen in a dorm room,” said junior Zosh Simonson. “Like it could happen when you’re asleep, and you wouldn’t know.”
Eliana Panitch agreed. “The second one showed that a sprinkler system is definitely needed in a dorm room.”
Public Safety wants to remind students that it is against University policies to tamper with smoke detectors and sprinklers, and hang items from the ceiling. They hoped that students who attended the demonstration would see how destructive a fare can be, and be more likely to evacuate their dorms when an alarm sounded.