College Students Practice Fire Safety
by Betsy Jibben, Reporter
August 28, 2013 6:26 PM
According to the Center for Campus Fire Safety, Since January of 2000, 83 fatal fires have occurred on college campus or on off-campus housing across the country. But now, some want to change that.
Some students in Sioux Falls went through training so they know what to do if a fire happens on their campus.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue taught some fire training to around 100 student residential hall directors from the University of Sioux Falls and Augustana College. So if a minor fire were to happen on campus, they would know what to do to keep them and fellow students safe.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue are putting on their protective fire gear, only it's not for a fire.
"We hope this gets them to think about our emergency before it actually happens and put themselves in situations so they can think through mentally what they would do,” said Director of Campus Safety of Augustana College, Rick Tupper.
College Students had to opportunity of going through fire training on what to do if a fire emergency were to happen in their dorms on campus.
"If our residents have questions about it, it helps that we can be informed and let them know what's going on," said student Julia Iversen.
They had the opportunity of running with the fire hose and even racing each other with the fireman gear. Though they may never have to actually do this, some of the other situations, they could be faced with at any time.
Augustana College representatives say the majority of fires on campus are cooking fires so knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is crucial.
"It's getting students to know that cooking is important. Don't leave something burning on the stove and walk away,” said Tupper.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue lit blocks of wood on fire so students could practice using fire extinguishers. They are on every floor in the dorms.
"If they've done it before, they know what they are capable of doing and what equipment is available to them," said Tupper.
Students also practiced a mock fire drill. Theatrical smoke filled the hallways where many of them live. It gave them an opportunity to practice escape routes. So if they are ever faced with real smoke, they have a plan.
"It's a hallway filled with smoke so you really can't see. Gives you experience of how to get out of a building,” said Tupper.
According to the Center for Campus Fire Safety, of those 83 fatal fires, 70 of them occurred to students in off-campus housing, 7 in on-campus building or residence halls and 6 occurred in Greek housing.
Representatives say the majority of fire related deaths are from smoke inhalation, not from actual burns.