Harrisonburg Fire Department had James Madison University Freshmen and transfer students experience scenarios they will run into in case of fire on Saturday.
JMU Freshman Patrick Ryan learned how hard is to crawl on a smoke-filled room.
"It was much darker than I expected, I couldn't actually find the door," Ryan said.
Harrisonburg Fire Safety Officer Mary Messerley said many college students deaths across the U.S. are fire-related.
She said this has not been in an issue in Harrisonburg. However, they want to prevent it from happenning through education.
"The only way for them believing it is by actually doing them themselves. For me to sit here and talk to them is usually not gonna be as effective," she said.
Charlotte Pitt said she learned fire drills from her dad, a firefighter. She said actions are better than words.
"It's a lot better if I go through those steps instead of feeling that I'm being rushed into something," Pitt said.
According to Messerley, most students don't take smoke alarms seriously.
"They've just moved away from home where someone is always taking care of the smoke alarm sounding. Here they actually have to learn to survive on their own," she said.
Ryan said he's glad he can learn how to be safe on campus.
"It's a good experience to have..especially because I think we only have two fire drills a semester so doing this gives us extra practice in how to get out safely," he said.
Students also learned how to use a fire extinguisher and saw how fast fire can spread in a dorm room.
Messerley said teaching students early enough in the year is a must.
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