‘Safety Awareness Day’ aims to educate students

By David McLain
Staff Writer

The risk management department stands ready to protect students by educating them about campus safety this Thursday in an all-day event that will include a number of presentations. The risk management department is hosting “OsoSafe Campus Safety Awareness Day” to increase students’ knowledge of safety in a variety of different areas.

Several live events will be presented, including a “Live Burn,” a controlled fire on Fifth Street in the middle of campus that will serve to demonstrate the effects of a fire on a structure similar to a Baylor residence hall room.

The Waco Fire Department will set up the mock residence hall room on a trailer in front of the Bill Daniel Student Center. The demonstration will feature a fire starting in the mock room’s trash can that will eventually envelop the whole room.

“We are making it look like a regular dorm room,” said Jeff Wilhelm, the fire department’s fire prevention specialist.

The fire department will start the fire at 4:30 p.m. and will allow the fire to burn until the point of flashover. Flashover occurs when everything in the room is burned; according to Wilhelm, it will not take very long.

“We’re trying to get the students to understand is how rapid the fire can grow and how little time they have to react,” Wilhelm said.

In addition, the Baylor Police Department will put on a 20 minute presentation of a video called “Shots Fired on Campus” at 11 a.m. and at 2 p.m. in the Baines Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

The National Weather Service will also be recognizing Baylor as a “StormReady University” at 1 p.m. in the Barfield Drawing Room. There are 90 other universities honored with this recognition across the country.

“StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness,” the National Weather Service website said.

There will also be a variety of organizations with resource tables set up from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday in the Barfield Drawing Room in the SUB.

The presence of these organizations is part of an attempt by the Baylor risk management department to provide the students with a holistic approach toward campus safety.

“They are an all-encompassing look at personal, fire and medical safety,” said Leigh Ann Moffett, director of risk management. “We also want to emphasize personal safety. It’s not just a physical thing.”

The Waco-McLennan County Public Heath District will distribute information on influenza and other infectious diseases in preparation of the coming flu season. Liberty Mutual, a sponsor of the event, will have a table focusing on the dangers of texting and driving. The Waco Fire Department table will have information about forming an exit strategy. The East Texas Medical Center is planning to host a competition involving defibrillators and mannequins.

Apart from wider community efforts, the Baylor Police Department will provide information about alcohol awareness and how students can become involved in crime prevention.

The department of risk management will provide general information regarding emergencies on campus.

Baylor Counseling Services, Baylor Health Services and Bear Aware, the Baylor IT department, will also have tables stressing other types of safety awareness.