Mount Allison students get dose of reality when it comes to fire safety

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SACKVILLE, N.B. – Students at Mount Allison University learned a valuable lesson recently when two of their peers partnered with the Sackville Fire Department to stage a mock dorm room fire. A structure was built that was open on one side and filled with a bed, desk, and numerous other items one would expect to find in a dorm room, like curtains, clothes, text books and more. The mock dorm room was then set up in the university parking lot on Lansdowne Street and on the evening of Wednesday, March 19, the local fire department started a fire in the room and allowed it to fill with flames before it was extinguished, which took approximately three-and-a-half minutes. Erin Porter and Michelle McDonald, students in Prof. Michael Fox’s community planning research course, worked with the local fire department to set up the demonstration after reading an article about a similar event at another school. Porter said the goal of the exercise was to show students how quickly fire spreads, why it is so important to evacuate a building when a fire alarm sounds and why fire safety and prevention is so important. Both students agreed the demonstration was a success. “I think it went well,” said McDonald. “I think just from listening to people in the crowd, it was nice to hear them saying ‘Wow, that happens really quickly’.” Porter said that this showed the organizers that those in attendance got the intended message, and they both agreed that they were extremely pleased to see there was a large turnout for the demonstration. McDonald added that the structure can be used again and there has already been talk of staging a similar demonstration during the fall’s orientation week at Mount Allison, and possibly yet another for local high school students.

Organizations: Mount Allison University, Sackville Fire Department

Geographic location: Lansdowne Street

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