Simulated dorm burn exercise teaches fire safety

  Kennesaw State University students learn important lesson
 KENNESAW, Ga. (March 16,…

Georgia (Mar 16, 2016)


Kennesaw State University students learn important lesson

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 16, 2015) — Just how quickly can a dorm room catch fire? Kennesaw State University students recently discovered that in less than a minute an overturned candle could become a raging fire.

Hundreds of onlookers watched a demonstration of the dangers of a fire set in a simulated dorm room on the Kennesaw Campus Green earlier this month.

Matt Shannon, manager, Fire and Life Safety, and Jeff Cooper, director, Residence Life, led the exercise.

“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. “A bedroom can turn into an inferno, so students need to learn about fire prevention and what to do to keep themselves and others safe in the event of an emergency.” 

With more than 5,000 residence hall students on both campuses, fire safety and prevention tips can’t be stressed enough, according to Cooper.

“It only took a couple of minutes for the flames to reach the ceiling,” Cooper said. “The main point of the exercise was to emphasize the need for students to respond quickly in the event of a fire. Fortunately, unlike this test structure, our residence halls are well-built with fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers in every room.”

Kennesaw State facilities personnel constructed a mock dorm room with supplies donated by The Home Depot. Combustible items such as bedspreads, curtains, books and notebook paper helped fuel the blaze, which was safely extinguished by members of Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services.

Kennesaw State police and crisis coordinators ensured no one in the crowd got too close to the flames or the intense heat.

-- Robert S. Godlewski

Photo by: David Caselli

Housing and Residence Life


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