'Smoke-out' Will Drill Students in Fire Emergency Strategy

fire alarm

Some residents of Moffett Hall will learn what to do in a fire emergency as they take part Thursday, Oct. 25, in a mandatory fire drill and evacuation practice.

In conjunction with the City of Radford Fire Department and the RU Office of Housing and Residential Living, RU Facilities Management's safety and risk-management office will create a "smoke-filled room" and introduce volunteers to the experience of a fire emergency. Radford University police and emergency medical service personnel will also be on hand for the 4:30 p.m. drill.

A water-mist smoke machine will set the scene before volunteers are accompanied into the space, where they will receive instructions from firefighters on how to handle the frightening conditions, said Tolga Durak, director of safety and risk management. Called a smoke-out, the simulation is a way to educate students about staying calm in emergencies with disorienting conditions.

As part of the university's ongoing safety program, all 14 of the its residence halls have regularly scheduled fire drills. Moffett Hall will be the first to implement the safely drill in a space with impaired visibility and the presence of emergency personnel on a simulated rescue mission.

Students in groups of 10 or fewer will be given the opportunity to spend about 10 minutes in the room as it fills with nontoxic mist, a visual equivalent of smoke. The escorting firefighters will brief the students on how to behave in a dangerous environment and explain rescue procedures.

"We are excited to give students an opportunity to experience real-time smoke conditions and get such life-saving guidance about how to safely evacuate or shelter in these nightmarish conditions," said Alex Campbell, coordinator of facilities and maintenance for the Office of Housing and Residential Living.

Oct 24, 2012
Don Bowman
(540) 831-7523