THE MAGAZINE

When Dorms Get Too Warm

College students are many things, but cautious isn’t usually one of them. And when the emotional tinder swirling in young adults mixes with physical tinder, such as paper and cheap furniture, in population-dense dorms, the combination can be highly combustible. That may be one of the reasons why about 1,300 fires occur in U.S. college and university dormitories every year. Unfortunately, in most dorm fires, no automatic sprinkler system is there to douse the flames.As part of a U.S. Fire Administration initiative to improve fire safety in college housing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted fire experiments in abandoned dorm rooms in Arkansas. Link to NIST via SM Online to get the free DVD .

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