‘Oak Flame 2011’ is an upcoming unusual fire safety experiment that will be conducted by researchers and students from Virginia Tech and Virginia Western Community College.
During the ‘Oak Flame” April 8 experiment, two mock residence hall rooms will be outfitted with sensors and high tech cameras, and then set on fire. Both rooms will feature contemporary designs and building codes, and feature elements that are common in residence halls that violate fire safety rules, such as decorations and certain styles of curtains.
Only one of the two rooms will be retrofitted with sprinklers, and participants will be able to visually see the combustion process from start to finish through large viewing windows as the fire spreads. The general public is invited to attend this experiment and demonstration on the effects of these materials that are in violation of fire safety rules, and the impact a sprinkler system has on building fire survival.
“We want students and others to see how these furnishings and decorations contribute to a fire and make them realize the reason behind fire codes and other safety regulations in dormitories with visual representation,” says event organizer Tolga Durak of Blacksburg, Va., a Ph.D. candidate majoring in environmental design and planning in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction and Virginia Tech fire engineering programs manager. “Also, we want to demonstrate the effectiveness of sprinkler systems in general.”
With fire safety always a concern for residence hall facilities, the results of this experiment will be interesting to track.