Campus Sprinkler System Demonstration

By: NBC 15
By: NBC 15

Fraternities, sororities, and private dormitories may soon be forced to install fire sprinkler systems on every floor. That's in response to a growing number of campus and what seems to be a simple solution.

In the last five years 75 people across the country have died in college campus fires, all in buildings without sprinkler systems. To show what a difference they can make, on Tuesday Madison's fire department held a demonstration. They ignited two fires in two different mock dorm rooms on State Street. Within 55 seconds, the sprinkler system put out one fire. Just 20 seconds later, the room without the sprinkler was engulfed in flames.

Dana Christmas McCain is a victim of a campus fire in New Jersey. She says, "When they see me, it's a reality, it's not made up, all the scars that are on my face they're real, everyday I have to witness this."

McCain testified before the State Committee on Colleges and Universities Tuesday as part of a public hearing on a proposed bill that would add sprinkler requirements for residence halls and dorms of other institutions and student residential facilities.

Six years ago the legislature put rules in place for U.W. system dorms.

In addition to sprinklers, firefighters say people need to understand their evacuation plan and take fire alarms seriously because you never know when the next alarm could be real.

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