Kennesaw State University conducts simulated dorm burn
Editor's Note: Click below for WSB-TV's raw video from an earlier exercise on the Campus…
Georgia (Apr 29, 2015) —
Editor's Note: Click below for WSB-TV's raw video from an earlier exercise on the Campus Green.
Dramatic exercise teaches students fire safety tips
KENNESAW, Ga. (APRIL 29, 2015) — Kennesaw State University students watched a dramatic demonstration of how quickly a fire can spread in a simulated dorm burn exercise this week. The event on the Campus Green attracted a crowd of several hundred.
Matthew Shannon, fire and life safety manager, said the main point was to stress the need for students to respond quickly in the event of a fire.
“We do periodic drills, and we teach students how to use fire extinguishers, for example, but nothing drives home the real danger of a fire like seeing one up close like this,” Shannon said.
Kennesaw State facilities personnel constructed a mock dorm room with supplies donated by The Home Depot. For maximum visibility, it was situated on a busy corner of the Campus Green near the main entrance to the Carmichael Student Center. Combustible items such as bedspreads, curtains, books and notebook paper fueled the fire, which was ignited when a lamp short-circuited in the room.
Within seconds, fire consumed the plastic trashcan and activated the fire/smoke detector on the ceiling. Flames traveled up the window curtains, jumped to the bedspread and quickly spread across the room.
“It only took a couple of minutes for the flames to reach the ceiling. I watched our students’ reaction and many in the crowd were visibly shocked when the flames rolled over the top of the structure,” said Jeff Cooper, Kennesaw State’s director of Residence Life. “It’s important to note that Kennesaw State University Housing, unlike this test structure, is well-built with fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers in every room.”
Kennesaw State police and crisis coordinators worked hand in hand to maintain crowd control and ensure no one got too close to the flames or the intense heat. Yellow caution tape marked the boundaries of the safe perimeter zone, outside of which several personnel faced the crowd to monitor the situation.
“We wanted to take every precaution, yet allow the crowd of mostly students to get a first-hand look at what can happen when a lamp short circuits in their room,” said James Westbrook, assistant director of Kennesaw State’s Office of Emergency Management.
“Fire can quickly engulf a bedroom, so students need to learn about fire prevention and what to do to keep themselves and others safe in the event of an emergency,” said Westbrook. “Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services personnel did an excellent job safely extinguishing the blaze.”
With more than 32,000 students, faculty and staff on the grounds of the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses, Kennesaw State functions like a small city. Some 5,200 residence hall students live on both campuses and fire safety training is an ongoing topic addressed by the resident advisers.
“Kennesaw State is the third-largest university in Georgia,” said Cooper. “Our growing student population comes from 130 countries, and we want to keep each and every one of them safe.”
–Robert S. Godlewski; Photo by Morin RufaiFire and Life Safety
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.