Mock Dorm Burns In Minutes

Aug 30, 2015

A demonstration showing flames about 2 minutes after fires were started in side by side mock dormitory rooms. One side has a sprinkler, the other does not.
Credit Charles Michael Ray

September is Campus Fire Safety Month in South Dakota.   The idea is to raise awareness about the potential for fire in college dorms, Greek housing, and off campus apartments.

The Rapid City Fire Department held a demonstration at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to show students the danger of structure fire.

The department set up a steel trailer with side by side rooms.  Both rooms were filled furniture and then set on fire.

Tim Behlings is an Assistant Chief at the Rapid City Fire Department.   

He says Campus Fire Safety Month is recognized across the country.  He says demonstrations can show how quickly fire spreads and how well sprinkler systems work  
“Campus safety is very important,” says Behlings.  “We have a lot of kids that come from various places of the country in all of our schools.  Dormitory fires, off campus housing and Greek housing has been high hazard, unfortunately we’ve lost some people to that.  And so, the purpose of the month is to raise awareness of fire on campuses and make them a safe environment.”

In the demonstration at the School of Mines one side of a mock dormitory caught fire and was engulfed entirely in flames in minutes.   A  second room was equipped with a fire sprinkler in the ceiling that extinguished the flames before they grew large.