CIU students encouraging fire safety in the community

Fire demonstration on CIU campus.
January 31, 2020

Partnership with State Fire Marshal begins 

By Naomi Balk

CIU Student Writer

Seeing fire in a CIU parking lot is normally a cause for concern. But when two fires were intentionally set, it was a time to learn.

Much of the on-campus student body witnessed the fires as part of an instructional program in a partnership with the State Fire Marshal’s Office as they work together to improve community fire readiness.

Josh Fulbright, Section Chief of South Carolina’s Fire Safe Community Risk Reduction Program, reviewed the do’s and don’ts of fire safety in an address in Shortess Chapel followed by the real flame demonstration of two living rooms set on fire. Students walked away wowed after seeing how simply closing your door, listening to the smoke alarm and installing a sprinkler system could be the difference between life and death.

Students will use the knowledge as outreach to the community. Chandler Carlisle has already accompanied state and local fire officials in Fairfield County, just north of the CIU campus, where he helped install smoke alarms in homes.

“I learned a lot about where I should put alarms and how to make sure it catches the smoke,” Carlisle said. “Sprinkler systems make a difference. I’m going to really take fire alarms more seriously.”

During the parking lot demonstration, in a room without sprinklers, the room temperature rose to a sizzling 1,400 degrees, scorching the furniture and a teddy bear in only three minutes. Smoke billowed out of the demonstration trailer and was a vivid reminder that closing doors prevents the spread of the flame and deadly smoke.

Student Katie Mayberry said the training is a great way to encourage fire safety and get involved in the community.

“Knowing about fire safety can definitely impact the community as we partner with the fire department,” Maybury said. “It’s great because they are coming out here to teach us and we can teach others too.”

Meanwhile, Fulbright said that he is “thrilled” about the partnership with CIU. The South Carolina Fire Academy is just up the highway from CIU on Monticello Road, and the firefighters eat lunch nearly every day in the CIU Dining Hall.  

“It’s like CIU is in our back yard,” Fulbright said. “Developing this relationship to be able to serve the greater South Carolina community is huge.”     

Columbia International University consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Excitement is growing on campus with increased enrollment and new academic programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Disaster Relief and Emergency ManagementRequest information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.