Campus event trains students on fire safety

Elon Justice

The WKU Department of Environmental Health & Safety will train students on the basics of apartment and dorm fire safety during its annual Fire & Safety Training Day on Sept. 14.

The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Centennial Mall, will include information and training activities such as demonstrations on using a fire extinguisher and checking a smoke detector, as well as the option to navigate through a smoke-filled trailer designed to simulate an actual fire.

Campus fire marshal Bob Austin said he believes the yearly event plays an important role in preventing fire hazards and increasing awareness of fire safety on campus.

“If we can save one life by the instructions that we give people out here, we’ve done our job,” Austin said.

According to WKU’s 2015 Campus Safety & Security Report, more on-campus fire alarms were activated due to smoke in 2014 than in the previous year. Austin attributed this increase to a rise in students leaving food unattended on the stove or in the oven.

He said the department plans to combat the upsurge by also providing training on the importance of kitchen fire safety, especially in a community living situation.

Amanda Blalock, a senior at WKU and a student worker for the Department of Environmental Health & Safety, said she thinks it is worthwhile for students to attend.

“I work it now but I’ve gone as a student, too,” Blalock said. “People should definitely come. It’s fun, you can get a free t-shirt, and you learn things that could maybe end up saving your life.”