Mock dorm room goes up in flames to kick off UK’s Fire Safety Month

University of Kentucky Fire Marshals conduct a dorm fire demonstration on the main lawn on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Allie King

To spark Fire Safety Month, the UK Fire Marshal lit off a safely contained dorm inferno on the lawn of the Main Building on Thursday.

“We keep the dorm set contained in this storage unit and we have the fire department on site,” UK Fire Marshal Greg Williamson said of the storage unit filled with fire resistant dorm furniture.

When the fire reaches “flashover,” which means everything inside is burning, they began to put it out, Williamson said. They pull actual furniture from university housing to furnish the set.

While the mock dorm was burning, students received free gear from the Fire Marshal office. They have been doing this particular demonstration for eight years now.

The Fire Marshal’s goal of this demonstration is “to show you how quickly a fire situation develops.” Williamson said dorm rooms can go up in flames in three minutes or less, as shown by the demonstration.

Every year, the Fire Marshal’s office teams up with UKPD’s Division of Crisis Management and Preparedness to host a Fire Safety Month in September to bring attention to the rules on campus that prevent fire accidents, and hold events to raise awareness to those on campus and teach techniques to keep you safe on campus or at home.

Thursday’s dorm burning also kicked off National Campus Safety Month, according to Tom Matlock, Captain of UKPD Division of Crisis Management and Preparedness.

“We promote campus safety everyday but this month we are promoting through campus outreach,” Matlock said.

Matlock’s division will be giving away go-bags to students who download the Live Safe app and post a Safety Selfie in front of a safety item— like an AED, Blue Phone, etc.— on campus.

Each go-bag has $100 of safety equipment in it, including a weather radio, an emergency blanket and more.

Williamson said he hopes every student will attend at least one fire safety training during their time at the UK.

There will be another Fire Safety Month event held in front of Woodland Glen, on Hilltop Ave., on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.