Campus fire safety ignites September


Students are provided with the opportunity to experience being in a smoke filled environment on North Campus Wednesday afternoon. The Lexington Fire Department hosted the event as a part of National Fire Safety Month. Photo by Scott Hannigan

By Brian Hancock

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September is Campus Fire Safety Month, and UK is doing its part.

Numerous stations were set up outside the New North dormitory yesterday in order to teach students more about fire safety, giving students free tee shirts from campus and city fire representatives.

The goal of the event was  “to increase the awareness of fire safety around campus,” UK Assistant Fire Marshal Jason Ellis said.

A faux smoke house was present nearby, which simulated real conditions in the case of an actual fire.

“We’re trying to teach people what it’s actually like in a smoke-filled environment, and how to get out of it,” Antoine Tribble of the Lexington Fire Department said.

A digital fire extinguisher training exercise was also on hand, as students were able to aim a fake extinguisher at a screen to put out a simulated fire.

“This teaches students how to put out a fire correctly,” said Ellis.  “A laser hits the screen, and if you don’t shoot at the base of the fire, it won’t go out.”

In addition to these exercises, Ellis had more information to offer students.

“A fire doubles in size every 30 seconds,” Ellis said.  “Last year there were rumors that if you lived above the eighth floor in one of the towers, you were out of luck in the event of a fire.  That is simply not true.”

Ellis also advised students to stay clear of smoke filled hallways and stairwells.

“If you have to pass through smoke to get out of the building, go back to your room and call 911,” Ellis said.  “Most times it’s the smoke that kills you, not the fire.”

Some students came away from the event more prepared in the case of an emergency.

“I learned some interesting things today,” business sophomore Taylor Blair said.  “I realized I was actually quite naïve when it came to fire safety.”

Yesterday’s event was the first of five to occur around campus every Wednesday of this month.

Next week’s happening will be held at the Commons Complex from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.