Saturday, February 16, 2008

UNL Greeks Practice Fire Safety

UNL fraternity holds fire drill to educate students
BY LISA MUNGER / Lincoln Journal Star

Opaque gray smoke poured from a fraternity house’s second-story windows Saturday in a mock fire simulated to help students practice fire safety.
Alarms rang out from inside the fraternity, audible on the sidewalk outside. Students emerged from the front doors of the house casually talking, some women clutching their purses.
Fraternity and sorority members were invited to participate in the drill at the Alpha Gamma Sigma house on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus in response to several Greek house fires in recent years, both at UNL and Nebraska Wesleyan University.

“We wanted to show Greek students how difficult it can be to escape from a fire,” said Alex Wolf, a UNL student and public relations chairman of the Interfraternity Council, which organized the event.
The simulation was a part of the All-Greek Liability Summit, which aimed to help fraternity and sorority members understand issues of legal liability.
Students worked with Lincoln Fire and Rescue to stage the fire, which included theatrical smoke. Lincoln fire inspector Rick Campos presented tips on escaping safely from fires.
Wolf said the IFC has taken a number of steps to tighten fire safety in fraternity houses, including outlawing tobacco products and requiring outside commercial fire alarm monitoring.
Tom Foreman, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, participated in the drill.“I didn’t expect that much smoke,” he said. “It was disorienting; it really makes you think about safety.”