Live burn shows students fire hazards

Fire quickly engulfs a mock students room during a live burn.Talking about fire safety doesn’t burn the message into a student’s consciousness the way seeing the intensity of a blaze does.That’s why first-year students moving onto campus Sunday will be witness to a live burn.A room measuring four-by-eight feet has been set up in the field in front of Schmon Tower.“We build the burn cell to look like a student’s room with a desk, bed and even posters,” said Rick Fraser, Manager of Emergency Management and Life Safety. “They stand far enough away that they are safe, but it’s close enough that they can feel the heat.”An example of a live burn room before a fire is set to illustrate fire safety.At 8:30 p.m. Sunday, a fire will start in the room as students and firefighters look on.“We essentially light a small fire that could be a cigarette or a candle . . . something minor like that,” Fraser said, noting neither smoking or candles are permitted in residence rooms.He said last year’s live burn took less than four minutes to become fully involved and flash – a term used to describe when a fire engulfs a room and moves up and out of the space.“You could not survive in it,” he said.The message to students is simple – if fire breaks out, you get out.Fraser said students shouldn’t try to fight the fire, they should just evacuate the room immediately.As part of the live burn event, students will learn about how to get out of a burning room as safely as possible.For more information about fire safety visit

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