MIT students get fired up about their courses — so it's probably not surprising that fire safety would be a hot topic, too.
Recently the Division of Student Life (DSL), the Environment, Health and Safety Office (EHS), and students from the East Campus dormitory collaborated with the Cambridge Fire Department (CFD) to organize East Campus Fire Safety Day.
The event featured a range of activities. In McDermott Court, students enjoyed blasting plastic buckets with a fire hose and checking out fire trucks. The CFD offered gear demos to anyone who wanted to try it on and experience what it feels like to wear 40 extra pounds of equipment while responding to a fire.
In Talbot Lounge, firefighters and volunteers from MIT Police, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Facilities, DSL and EHS provided answers to the many questions students had about fire safety, while a video titled “Dorm Don’ts” played in the background. Students also heard about the dangers of synthetic materials in furniture: Modern furniture burns at 10 times the rate of furniture from just 25 years ago.
Perhaps most impressive was the hallway smoke simulation on the third floor of the west parallel of the East Campus dorm. About 30 students participated, commenting afterwards that the smoke was surprisingly opaque and noting how disorienting it can be to lose visuals even in a place that's very familiar.
“I’ve learned why you should crawl out of a fire,” one participant stated emphatically.
About 100 East Campus students participated and, in a survey afterward, all of them reported learning something new. An impressive 90 percent said that they enjoyed the event very much.
“This event was super super fun!!” read one typical comment.
DSL and EHS offcials say they met their goal to make the MIT campus a little safer by educating students about fire safety, while enjoying the students’ enthusiasm during the event. The two groups plan to organize more Fire Safety Days in the coming years.
More photos from the event are available online.