Fire Factor heats up student safety week

The highlight was the burning of a simulated student bedroom.

Thousands of students gathered on the Mizzou campus today for the 13th annual Fire Factor event.

The fire safety presentation was part of a weeklong event called Safe Mizzou 2013.

The highlight was the burning of a simulated student bedroom. Firefighters filled the replica with a bed, desk, chairs and all the other things a student would normally find in their room. Without anything added to enhance the burning, the room was set on fire to show the speed and ferocity of a real fire.

MU Freshman Jake Schnierow said, â??I was just surprised at how quick the fire spread. I didnâ??t expect it to get to its full capacity in less than a minute.â??

MU Freshman Kendall Malkain said, â??It started from the middle and it really, really spread really, really fast.â??

The conditions were the same as any dorm room except the display only had 3 walls. Firefighters said 4 walls would make the flames spread even faster.

MU Senior Carlton Jackson said, â??I learned that you have to keep a lot of stuff away from flammable materials and also clean your room.â??

MU Senior Mariah Woodson said, â??What I took away from it was keep my room clean. It was very cluttered. That gave me some motivation to go home and actually straighten up a bit.â??

Students got the chance to see the remains of the burnt out structure up close. Firefighters said the burning of the simulated dorm is not only an educational experience. Itâ??s also an enjoyable experience. Firefighters get a big kick out the reaction of students, especially freshmen. Most of these freshmen have never seen anything like this before.

Columbia Firefighter Jim Pasley said, â??Every time when they walk away, thatâ??s what you hear. You hear them say that was very hot. Man, that went up in three minutes? It only takes three minutes for my dorm room to go up? Thatâ??s what we want to hear. We want to hear that impact.â??

The event also offered free pizza, T-shirts and fire safety information.

The Safe Mizzou 2013 event continues tomorrow night with the 40th annual Safety Walk at the MU Student Center.