After the fire that damaged UNB Fredericton’s Forestry & Geology building last Thursday, there could be no better timing for Burn the Dorm 2014: an event that does just what it says in the name of fire safety awareness.
Burn the Dorm is an event put on by the Fredericton Fire Department in conjunction with organizations such as UNB Security & Traffic.
On Sept. 10 at 6 p.m., in the courtyard below the SUB, two replica dorm rooms — one with sprinklers and one without — will be set ablaze.
“It’s to demonstrate just how a sprinkler system can help slow down the effects of a burning dorm,” said Amanda Dean, vice-president Atlantic of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, one of the event’s partners.
The aim of Burn the Dorm is to teach fire prevention, not just for students living in residence, but for everyone. The Fredericton Fire Department will be giving a presentation at the event on this topic.
“It’s not just meant for students in dorms; it’s meant for students on and off campus,” said Bruce Rogerson, director of UNB Security & Traffic.
“From the security and traffic point of view we’re all about prevention.”
Free smoke detectors will also be given to students.
“We hope that [students] will take away that we all have a role to play to help keep our communities safe whether it’s the community in UNB or the broader community in and around Fredericton and even New Brunswick,” said Dean.
“But also just that fire can move quickly and fire can do an awful lot of destruction in a short period of time.”
“We want a shock factor there,” added Rogerson.
This all comes shortly after a fire on the UNB Fredericton campus last week.
The fire occurred early in the morning of Sept. 4 and damaged the main doors of the Forestry & Geology building. It also caused charring to the pillars and upper ceiling in front of the main doors of the building.
A team from UNB Security was able to put out the flames, but not before the Forestry & Geology building entrance underwent considerable damage.
The fire began inside the garbage canister by the building’s main doors. Rogerson said that he believes the fire was intentional and Campus Security is looking for any information about the fire and its instigator.
“We highly believe it was started by an individual or individuals,” he said.
“Obviously we’d like assistance in identifying the individual or individuals responsible because this caused considerable damage,” Rogerson said.
As it is, Rogerson said the repairs will be extensive and the area affected will be off limits to students for a week or two.
“You have to resurface the doors if they can be repaired and you have to get rid of all that charring up the pillars and up on the roof if you want the aesthetics to be back to normal. It’s extensive labour when you start trying to clean soot off that,” Rogerson said.
UNB Facilities Management is still assessing the extent of the damage and how much it will cost to repair the building.
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