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Consequences of Fire Damage in Universities
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Universities are like small communities, housing anywhere from a couple of thousand to more than 10,000 students, with the population added to by faculty and staff. They provide an attractive, comfortable environment for students to live, learn, and earn their degrees in preparation for taking on the real world; however, this tranquil existence may be severely disrupted in the event of an unexpected fire. University fires can have widespread consequences depending on where they are located and how much of the school property is affected.
How University Fires Occur and What is Lost
Most fires occur in dormitories and are the result of smoking, cooking, overloaded electrical outlets, or alcohol-related activity. In a building that may house several hundred students, many of whom are not familiar with fire safety protocols, this can be a dangerous and even deadly scenario. Fires in dormitories can spread rapidly, jumping from room to room, and the end result is a considerable amount of personal property destroyed and students displaced from their living quarters. The dorm may have to be evacuated until the fire restoration process has been completed, which means the school will have to find other places for their displaced students to live and continue their studies. Some schools strike deals with local motels to house their students, an arrangement that could run into a fairly large bill depending on the time it takes to repair the damage and make the dorm safe for habitation again.
If the fire occurs in a classroom, curriculum, materials, and projects may be damaged or lost. The school is then faced with finding a suitable substitute location for the class to be held, which can prove to be problematic if the room in question is of a specialized nature such as a science or chemistry laboratory. In cases like this, the class may simply be put on hold or postponed until the damage is repaired, which wreaks havoc with lesson plans and scheduling.
Some university fires occur in the kitchen area of the cafeteria. The only good news here is that the people working in this area have been trained on how to deal with unexpected fires which means the fires will, in all likelihood, be knocked down and extinguished fairly rapidly, with little or no interruption to the production of meals for university students and staff.
The same could be said for fires occurring in administrative offices since, again, employees will have received some measure of training on how to deal with a fire. Unfortunately, fires in administrative wings may cause damage to or destruction of computers and files, where most student and employee records are kept. If there is no offsite backup for this information, then it could conceivably take months to recover what was lost, if it is possible to recover at all.
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