Fire demonstration to promote awareness, prevention

March 15, 2017

The UNC Charlotte Environmental Health and Safety Office will host a full-scale residence hall room side-by-side burn on Wednesday, March 29. Students, faculty and staff can view this fire simulation at 3 p.m. in Parking Lot 20, located near Witherspoon Hall.

This event is being held in conjunction with the Charlotte Fire Department, UNC Charlotte Fire and Safety Technologists (FAST) and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).  FAST and SFPE are led by students who are studying Fire Safety Engineering Technology at the University; they provide fire and life safety education to their peers.

According to the Environmental Health and Safety Office, this event is an opportunity to educate the campus community on fire safety. The goal is to demonstrate the vital importance of fire sprinklers and fire alarm systems, not only to save the lives of campus residents, but of the fire personnel who would respond to emergency calls. This simulation also will illustrate how quickly fire can grow out of control.

The UNC Charlotte Environmental Health and Safety Office, in conjunction with FAST and SFPE, will gather the construction materials, build the simulation rooms and fully furnish them. Two identical mock rooms will be used; only one will be equipped with a sprinkler system.

Fires will be set in trash cans next to desks, an arrangement that is not uncommon to many students in residence halls across campus. Spectators will observe how long it takes for the detector to sound and the sprinklers to initiate and extinguish the blaze.

Members of the Charlotte Fire Department will be present to extinguish the flames so everyone has the opportunity to see the amount of damage an uncontrolled fire can do in just under two minutes.