State Fire Marshal Mike Causey organizes mock dorm room live fire demo

In recognition of Campus Fire Safety Month, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is partnering with Wake Forest University to raise awareness regarding campus fire safety. Firefighters from Winston-Salem will set fire to a mock dorm room on Wednesday September 18, 2019, to demonstrate how sprinkler systems in college student housing facilities can save lives.

The burn will show a side-by-side demonstration of two mock dorm rooms set up outside on a flatbed trailer to showcase the difference in how quickly a room can engulf in flames without the proper safety equipment in place.

“Sprinklers save lives,” said Commissioner Causey. “Our goal during Campus Fire Safety Month is to educate and provide resources to as many people as possible. We wish every college in the state would install functional sprinkler systems in their campus housing.”

Wake Forest has sprinklers in all of its residence halls.

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, state universities across North Carolina will also hold campus fire safety events to inform college students how to avoid injury due to fire

The Center for Campus Fire Safety has documented 92 fatal fires on college campuses, in Greek housing or in off-campus housing within three miles of campus from January 2000 to August 2018. Those fires claimed 132 victims.

Smoke alarms go a long way in saving lives. They cut the risk of dying in a home fire by one-half. But sprinkler systems go even further. Sprinklers immediately respond to a fire while it is still small, controlling the spread of deadly heat, flames and smoke.

Here are the details for the dorm room sprinkler live burn demonstration:

  • WHO: Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey; Penny Rue, Vice President of Campus Life for Wake Forest University; Winston-Salem Fire Chief Trey Mayo; Dr. Anju Bakhshi Saraswat, Wake Forest Baptist Burn Center; Kevin Cox, Wake Forest University, T.J. McLamb, Fayetteville Fire Department; Chief State Fire Marshal Brian Taylor
  • WHAT: Side-by-side mock dorm room fire burn, one room with sprinklers, one without sprinklers.
  • WHERE: Scales Center Circle facing Davis Field, 1834 Wake Forest Road, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27106
  • WHEN: 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2019.
  • WHY: To show how sprinklers slow the spread of fires and save lives.

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.