Inside OSU - Fire Protection and Safety Technology

Uploaded by OkStateNews on 25.02.2010

Thanks Zach.
Hello everybody, I'm Burns Hargis for another edition of Inside OSU. What kid has not wanted to ride on a fire truck
and be a part of this exciting
Well here at Oklahoma State, this is the best place in the world
that you can be trained. We're called the West Point of
protection and safety.
This is a 1951 American LaFrance, which was
totally restored by our students
over the last year or two.
We'll go inside and see what goes on here, but we appreciate driver Zach Thompson from Seminole, OK. We'll talk to you
inside Zach.
Let's go have a look.
Here I am in the pump room of our fire protection and safety division and with me is Mike Larranaga, who's an
associate professor and is the head of this program. Mike, welcome.
This whole
program has been called a national treasure, and I think the history of its very interesting because most people are
surprised actually to see the extent
of the fire protection and safety programs we have at Oklahoma State. How'd it get started?
It got started when in 1931, the insurance industry call to Congress in Stillwater with the Stillwater fire department
to better train firefighters and validate the training that
firefighters have. Why Stillwater? The Fire Chief Ray Pence was
friends with several executives in the insurance underwriting industry.
I guess they had a lot of losses and wanted to figure out how to do a better job on the front end and in fighting the
fires. That's right.
So what happened?
As a result of that they start having a conference every year and that lead to
fire protection publications
and international fire service training association. They're the largest publisher of fire training materials in the
And that also led to the academic program, which at that time was called the Department of Firemanship. This isn't a
common program in universities around the United States?
No, there are very few programs like ours.
How many?
There are two that are ABET accredited in the US. It's what's formally
known as the American Board of Engineering and Technology, and that's the accreditation that allows our students take the
professional engineering exam. How many students do you have?
We have 250 students. What is the academic curriculum for them generally?
We have a four-year program in engineering technology, and it's a basic engineering science courses and then we
a special course in fire protection safety and industrial hygiene for students.
This is not just fire? I mean it's broader than just fire? It's broader than fire. We really are
a loss prevention program, and we teach students to
prevent losses in the industry, manufacturing and
municipalities of government. So any kind of disaster in a building or on a ship or on an airplane
we're teaching our students how to prevent that, design them in a way that will prevent that and if it happens
what to do about it.
That's correct.
That's incredible.
What are the career opportunities? I would think in this day and age they'd be incredible.
We have
amazing career opportunities for students
and each student enjoys multiple job offers. Even in this down economy we don't have a problem placing students.
And just as I said this is a national treasurer, we actually

guard and protect some national treasures in the US? That's correct, well all around the world.
We are recognized for the contributions of our students in protecting
artistic and cultural treasures of the US. Some examples are the Smithsonian Institution, the Statue of Liberty,
the US Capitol complex, the Supreme Court building,
Library of Congress, the rare books collections at Yale
university and Harvard, and even OSU Edmon Low Library.
I know it's a very
dedicated and loyal alumni group because I hear from them a lot and they're very interested in this program and we're
interested in them as well. We'll look at some more things around here. The pump lab is for what? These are
installed in buildings and industrial facilities and things like
Boone Pickens Stadium.
And if the sprinkler's to be discharged or there's a fire,
the fire pump will turn on to deliver water to help control the fire until the fire department arrives.
So the students are learning how these things work and how they
are engineered?
That's right. How to design and install them,
take care of them,
keep buildings safe.
We also have a fire systems laboratory were students learned
about the different types of sprinkler control valves that we have.
In addition, we have a fire alarms lab
for students learn about the detection and alarm systems
for different types of fires
and different types of a detection such as smoke and heat.
Within these labs we have people that come from all over the world to take continuing education and outreach courses.
We probably have 30 to 40 courses a year
and these are professionals from
all over the world working in the fire and safety industries.
In this state-of-the-art facility, we have other
demonstration and labs in effect
for our students and one is the burn lab. This is one of the places where
you do what you're never supposed to do and that's set something on fire. That's right. We want to do it in a
controlled setting so no one gets hurt
and nothing burns down. Well we'll go into the burn lab now and see what that's all about.
Now I'm in the fire dynamic lab also known as the burn lab, but for these purposes we'll call it the burns lab.
I'm with Laura Gross and others from fire protection and safety. Let's introduce everybody right quick.
Benjamin Eschner from McHenry, IL.
What year are you?
I'm a junior.
Benjamin Craig. I'm from
Ohio. Patrice Barnett from Brighton, Colorado, and I'm a senior. Laura we'll talk to you in a second.
Andy Emerson from Chattanooga, TN, and I'm a sophomore.
This is our driver. This is the guy that brought in the American LaFrance.
I'm Zach Thompson from Seminole, OK, and I'm a senior.
We put out the fire didn't we?
I'm Erin Guyer from Stratford, Vermont.
I'm Rhett Strain from Beauty Springs, Louisiana, and I'm a junior.
Get the idea this is a national program? Laura, how did you end up
here in Oklahoma from
Salida, Colorado?
Originally I wanted to be a firefighter so my dad and I sat down and did some research
on where I could get a bachelors degree that would

better be of use
in the fire program.
So we found Oklahoma State and I moved down here and once I started classes
I realized there was more to the program than just firefighting
and now I would like to become a sprinkler designer. What do you think the career opportunities are?
I can go
safety or protection or firefighting.
The possibilities are endless.

this is a real ghostbusters outfit except the ghosts we'll bust are the fires.
We're in front of a set here, tell us about this. We've got a living room setting burn prop.
We've got a couch we'll place some flammable liquids on to imitate an arson fire.
We'll watch the growth stage,
take some temperature readings,
watching how fast different materials will react to the fluids and the heat of the fire
and watch this spread.
Good, well let's have a look.

Yeah I'm glad I didn't sit in the chair.
So Rhett what are you learning from this other than a chair's burning up?
We're watching the fire growth. It's going to go up, hit the
ceiling, spread across the couch itself. It'll start into the walls. You'll start hearing
picture frames breaking. We're also taking some measurements here
on our temperature scale.

This black line is our back wall
where the picture frame is.
We also have some ceiling on the east wall and the back wall.
As you can see
the wallpaper's starting to burn. These are all the types of measurements we're looking at.

Is that wall built like a regular wall? Yes, the only thing missing in this wall is insulation just because of
the toxins in it.
You can feel some of that radiant heat.
You'll also start to get
trash cans and things like that around it to burn.
It's now hit the ceiling and
starting to rollout. In arson investigations, can they tell
where a fire started? Yes. Origin is fairly easy to tell. You'll have heat.
The glass just broke from our
picture frame at high temperatures. But you can tell point of origin because of the amount
of heat,
and things are charred fairly well.

It's putting out a lot of heat, I'll tell you that. It does get fairly warm and once we're done you can go through and
look at the records. Our west wall right now we're at about 1500 degrees. That's a tremendous
amount of heat.

In the ceiling we're about 2000 so at the top
you're looking at about 2000 degrees. But we'll go ahead and step back and let these guys attack the fire.

You guys started to spray up high. Yes sir. Depending on the types of fire,
you'll either
attack it high or low.
With a ventilated fire you want to cool the upper atmosphere because you have a place for that temperature and steam
building up because boiling water will put off steam.
At 2000 degrees you'll steam water fairly fast and that's where you're heat's going.
So you'll attack it high
and let that steam work down on top of it.
Well as you can see,
it's a pretty dramatic profession and were glad they are studying it.
OSU has a long history of protecting the public from fires and other disasters,

and this fire protection and safety unit here at OSU
is the true leader.
A national treasure.
So for Mike Larranaga and all these students,
that's another edition of Inside OSU,
We'll see you next time.