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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Mock dorm burn to ignite conversation on fire safety


The annual Mock Dorm Room Burn will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

For the seventh year in a row, the departments of residence life and environmental health and safety will light a controlled fire in a simulated dorm room on Simpson Drill Field. 

Known as the Mock Dorm Room Burn, the demonstration is intended to show Texas A&M students the danger of residence hall fires.

“Our ultimate goal is to teach students about fire safety in general, not just in the dorms,” said Monica Martinez, Emergency Management Coordinator at the Office of Safety and Security. “These fire safety techniques can be applied not only to dorms but also to apartments and houses.”

The average college dorm room is crowded with flammable materials like bedspreads, posters, trash cans, clothes and textbooks. When a fire starts it spreads quickly and easily, engulfing the entire room in flames, said Martinez.

“The response time [of the College Station Fire Department] is less than five minutes, but you can be surprised how quickly a fire can spread,” Martinez said.

Jake Hall, biomedical science junior, has attended the Mock Dorm Room Burn for the past few years. He said the demonstration taught him a lot about fire safety.

“The fire spread so fast that I thought for a second that everything was soaked in gasoline — I wouldn’t have time to grab my laptop or textbooks if the fire was for real,” Hall said. “Watching the room burn really gave me a sense of urgency the next time I heard a fire alarm go off.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, most dorm fires occur between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., particularly during the weekend. About 84 percent of reported fires involved cooking equipment. As a result, there is a long list of items banned from dorm rooms to prevent fires.

The College Station Fire Department will be on hand at the mock burn to make sure the fire is lit, maintained and extinguished in a safe and controlled environment. 

The seventh annual demonstration will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the Simpson Drill Field. Free pizza will be provided to attendees.

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