With more than 30 000 students enrolled at Stellenbosch University, of which approximately 10 000 reside on and around campus, there is a good chance that the first person who discovers a fire and responds to it will be a student.
"As many people have not had the opportunity to use a fire extinguisher, it is possible that the first person on the scene of the fire is not familiar with using a fire extinguisher. Although it is not difficult to use, practicalities such as unhooking a fire extinguisher from the wall or removing the safety pin is much easier the second time than the first time," says Melany le Roux, manager security systems and intelligence.
Le Roux says Campus Security recently arranged a practical demonstration for student leaders. The established partnership with the Stellenbosch Fire Services contributed to the Fire Services agreeing to familiarise student leaders with some basics about fires and using fire extinguishers. "We used the parking area behind Campus Security to start a mock fire which students then extinguished. The primary gain was the shared knowledge and experience, while the fun the students had was a bonus," said Le Roux.