Dorm Room Burn and ‘Firefighter Challenge’ Added to National Night Out Activities

September 26, 2019

Baylor University Police Department’s NNO, #BUNightOut, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 1

Media Contact: Tonya B. Hudson, 254-710-4656

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WACO, Texas (Sept. 25, 2019) – How long does it take for a dorm room to be engulfed in flames?

“Minutes,” said Mike Marascia, fire safety & emergency management specialist in Baylor University’s Department of Public Safety.

To help raise awareness on fire safety and prevent fires in residence halls, Marascia, in partnership with the Waco Fire Department’s Fire Marshal’s Office, has organized a burn of a replica dorm room to illustrate the dangers of burning candles, overloading electrical outlets and creating other hazardous conditions in the residence halls.

“We are going to light a mock dorm room on fire and watch how quickly the room burns. Hopefully, this will give the students an eye-opening experience of the importance of fire safety and the consequences if basic fire safety practices are not followed,” Marascia said.

The dorm room burn is a part of Baylor University Department of Public Safety’s “Sic ‘em for Safety” campaign that concludes with Baylor University Police Department’s annual National Night Out event, an annual nationwide community-building campaign that provides an opportunity for the Baylor residential community to come together and learn about safety measures.

The live burn will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, on Fountain Mall on the Baylor campus.

Immediately following, students will have the opportunity to participate in the first-ever “Baylor Firefighter Challenge.” The competitive challenge consists of three obstacles—donning firefighter gear, deploying the fire hose line and dragging a mannequin across the course. The fastest man and woman will be awarded prizes. The first 500 participants will receive a Baylor Firefighter Challenge T-shirt.

“The ‘Firefighter Challenge’ is a fun way to solidify the importance of fire safety and get students engaged,” Marascia said. “Hopefully, it will be a reminder of the importance of fire safety throughout their daily lives.”

The Waco Fire Department will be in attendance and have their equipment on display.

“This event is a good opportunity not only put out a message about fire safety, it is also an opportunity to build relationships with students, the entire Baylor community and our local firefighters,” Marascia said.

BUPD’s National Night Out, #BUNightOut, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, on Fountain Mall.


The Baylor University Department of Public Safety serves as an umbrella department for the Baylor University Police Department, emergency management, fire safety, global safety and security, technical security and parking and transportation. The DPS is set on providing students, faculty and alumni with excellent security and safety through instant notification systems, extensive surveillance cameras and highly-trained staff.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.