Q4 2014: Fire Protection Press
Fourth Quarter, 2014
In the fourth quarter Fire Protection Press, we would first like to wish you happy holidays as the time for family, friends, and giving approaches. The holidays' approach is also a good time to remember to be safe in the winter months. A reminder of that is the Providence College dorm fire that happened on December 13, 1977. In this fire, 10 women died, and it all stemmed from a large snow ball fight and was fueled by holiday decorations right before winter break. This fire inspired the featured article this quarter, "Protecting College Students from Fire."
This article delves into the causes of student housing fires and explains how students should protect themselves to avoid starting a fire and getting fire-related injuries. We hope this article inspires a move toward more fire sprinkler protected off-campus housing.
President, F.E. Moran Fire Protection Northern Illinois
President, F.E. Moran Fire Protection National
In 1976, five fraternity brothers were killed in a fire in the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Baker University. In 1977, ten women were killed in an inferno in a dorm fire at Providence College. In 1996, five students died at a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity after someone carelessly tossed a cigarette. As recent as 2007, six students from the University of South Carolina and Clemson University died in a shared house fire. From 1990 to 2000, 8 fires in dormitories resulted in 10 student fatalities and 11 fires in Greek housing caused 23 deaths. All of these fires started from carelessness. Students are free for the first time in their life, and some are not prepared for the responsibility that living independently requires.
In recent years, attention has been brought to the need for fire protection in dorms, fraternities, sororities, and other forms of student housing. On September 2, 2014, the Fire Sprinkler Dormitory Act met its deadline. Since then, schools are fined $1,000/day for non-compliance. Colleges and Universities have been complying; however, focus has turned to the increase in off-campus housing and the rise in fires at these dwellings.
Fire crews arrived at GE Intelligent Platforms to find heavy smoke. When they found the point of origin of the fire, it had been controlled by a single fire sprinkler head.
Firefighters received an activation call when a single sprinkler head contained a fire at a grocery store. No one at the store was aware that a fire had ignited. Firefighters evacuated 100 people. There was on $10k in damages.
Around 1am, fire crews were called to an apartment fire. When they arrived, they found that the fire had been controlled by the fire sprinkler. Fire damage was isolated to the point of origin
A St. Paul apartment was saved when a single sprinkler head stopped a stove top fire. The apartment dweller accidentally left a plastic tray on the stove and left the room while his lunch cooked. Unattended cooking is one of the top causes of fire.