A Reflection Paper regarding Fires in University Residential Housing

Fires in a residential hall at a university were the last of my concerns prior to watching the campus fire safety video. However, after watching the horrific accident that occurred at the Sigma Chi fraternity in the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, I realized the significance of fire safety awareness and the actuality of a real fire.

The video from campusfiresafety.org presented the example of Dominic Pasantino, a business major from the University of Missouri. Firefighters Rolando Tobar and his crew explain how the fire had begun in his bunk bed room in the Sigma Chi fraternity house.

When interviewed, the brothers of the fraternity had explained that Pasantino had lit a newly purchased candle for scent and forgot to put it off as he fell asleep. This resulted in the ignition of his room exit which prompted his fraternity brothers to run to the nearby bathroom in efforts to put out the fire with water. When they had gotten the water, the brothers were horrified and shocked to see that the rate of the room catching fire greatly exceeded their expectations and had no choice but to evacuate.

Moments after, firefighters Rolando Tobar and his crew came along to extinguish the fire and rescue the endangered Pasantino. Despite their valiant efforts, the firefighters were forced to evacuate as well because the fire had grown to an uncontrollable size in a matter of minutes. This resulted in the tragic death of Pasantino.

The interviews in the video show the firefighters explaining how a rapidly growing fire often produces so much smoke that visibility is almost nonexistent and flashlights become useless.

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They mention how they have to rely on their keen sense of smell and touch to navigate the area. This also explains how difficult the job of a firefighter really is since every moment inside a burning building is jeopardizing their lives.

The firefighters and fraternity brothers express their deep regret and sorrow for the death of young Pasantino as his mother talks of her loss. She laments on his death and how she never wants to see this happen to another collegiate family. His mother also voices her concern for universities and their policies on fire safety. She explains that the average fire count at U.S. universities since 1980 is a shocking 1,800 accounts per year. She also adds that there have been 33 student casualties due to university fires since 1990.

Her greatest fear is for the parents of university students similar to Pasantino that are unaware or undereducated regarding the serious issue. Pasantino’s mother understands that fire safety and fire deaths aren’t usually the first things that university students parents think of when sending their children off to school. However, they should prioritize this if they value their children’s lives. She says that parents must look at the fire safety, sprinkling system, place of smoke detectors, number of fire drills, and fire inspection comments prior to sending their children off to a certain college.

The video shifts to the assistant fire marshal of the Columbia Fire Department, Amy Barrett. Barrett says, “students might make some bad choices.” And that we (parents/fire department) must counteract the student’s poor decisions through frequent inspections on residential areas such as fraternity and sorority houses. She emphasizes the important of awareness and preparedness, explaining that fire safety presentations must be given to explain the nature of fire. This will give the students a better comprehension of how quickly fire spreads and survival tips. Another paramount aspect of fire prevention is the sprinkler systems. Unlike smoke and heat detectors, these sprinkler systems are effective 90% of the time and can work to save many lives.

Conclusively, this video has taught me a lot regarding the importance of fire- related incidents. Not only is fire something that should not be trifled with, but also, a very plausible occurrence. It has taught me a lot about the importance of sprinkler systems and how a small fire could jeopardize the lives of many individuals including fellow students, firefighters, and even friends and family. Despite being an emotionally horrific accident, I feel better suited for an emergency and now know that every fire drill must be taken seriously. I personally feel like I am more conscious of fire safety and fire preventions due to this video and will work to educate my peers about it.

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A Reflection Paper regarding Fires in University Residential Housing. (2022, Dec 17). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-reflection-paper-regarding-fires-in-university-residential-housing/

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