Students face mock fire flames

Fumi Nakamura/The News Conner Cook, freshman from Gallatin, Tenn., assists with spraying water onto the flames.
Fumi Nakamura/The News Conner Cook, freshman from Gallatin, Tenn., assists with spraying water onto the flames.

Fumi Nakamura/The News
Conner Cook, freshman from Gallatin, Tenn., assists with spraying water onto the flames.

Fire safety is an issue brought to students’ attention each year. This year, Campus Fire Safety Day was held Oct. 9 in front of Carr Health Building.

Public Safety and Emergency Management and the Office of Environmental Safety and Health presented a live mock demonstration of a residential college room on fire.

Although, the mock  residential college room wasn’t an exact replica, it showed how quickly a fire could spread. However, in a real residential college room the fire would spread much faster since it is enclosed on all sides.

Matthew Tinsley, assistant fire chief of the Murray Fire Department, said the mock fire is important for students’ understanding of how fast fires spread and what to do in case of one.

“Once students graduate it is important for them to understand how fast a fire can spread,” Tinsley said. “In just four minutes the fire flashed over, when a room is completely engulfed in flames. No one is able to survive a flashover.”

After the fire was lit it took 40 seconds for the smoke detector to activate.

The smoke detector going off is the first sign to get out of the room and to safety.

Then, the room reaches 1,200 degrees and the sprinkler system activates.

In the mock fire, students saw how fast fire can spread around the room; it took 20 seconds for the fire to become visible to the students watching.

Josh Turner, sophomore from Newburg, Ind., said Fire Safety Day is a good idea because it educates students on fire safety.

“I think that this demonstration is a good idea because it shows students what not to do in case of a fire,” Turner said.

“If a fire is detected in the hallway, feel the door to see if it is hot, and if not it is safe to escape, but if the door is hot, do not open it, but hang a piece of clothing outside of your window so firefighters know you are still in the room,” the Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report said.

The Fire Safety Report allows students to see the types of devices that assist in detecting fires in each residential college, the number of fire drills each year and the amount of fires reported.

In 2013, six fires were reported on campus in three different residential colleges.

Students are able to see where the fires took place, the time and day, the cause, injuries or fatalities and value of damage, according to the Fire Safety Report.

Story by Brittany Risko, Staff writer