A new, innovative tool is available for campuses across the nation to use in sharing information about providing fire safety to students. The Guide to Campus Fire Safety wiki (www.campusfiresafety.wikispaces.com) has been launched by Campus Firewatch for campus fire safety educators, fire departments and others interested in campus fire and life safety to use.
This wiki, started with information gathered through 13 years of Campus Firewatch newsletters, is designed to be a collaborative effort that is looking for additional contributions from the campus fire safety community.
Most people are familiar with wikis from Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that exists through the efforts of millions of contributors and editors. Wikis are in widespread use in businesses and schools and this is an excellent application to capture the breadth of information relating to campus fire safety, from engineering to education and enforcement.
“The true power of a wiki is in the fact that it has contributions from the very community that is using it,” said Ed Comeau, publisher of Campus Firewatch, who created and is managing the Guide. “By having people who are practicing campus fire safety adding to the collective knowledge, we can build an online store of knowledge that is freely available for people to use, everywhere.”
A wiki is a constantly evolving project that reflects the needs of the community that is working on it. To start it going, Campus Firewatch created a structure and for some of the categories has contributed information from articles that have appeared in the newsletter over the past 13 years. Some of the broad topics include:
- Education (hazards and ignition sources, videos, posters, tools)
- Emergency Management (incident management, mass notification)
- Engineering (fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire retardants, compartmentation)
- Fire Prevention (statistics, calendar of events, hazards)
- Fire Safety (egress, students with disabilities)
- Incidents and Case Studies
- Occupancies (on-campus, off-campus, Greek housing)
- Organizations (a list of organizations with resources)
- Outreach (social media, traditional media)
- Students (Millennial generation, students with disabilities)
- Technology (QR codes, smart phones, tablet computers)
- Town/Gown Relations
“Sharing information is key to helping make campuses safer,” observed Comeau. “No one has all of the answers, but someone does have that one particular answer that someone else is looking for. Through this wiki we are creating the platform for freely sharing that information, that answer to that question!”
Visit the Guide to Campus Fire Safety wiki at www.campusfiresafety.wikispaces.com.