UNF Housing and Residence life is taking new measures to ensure student safety and prevent fires. They are testing a new type of stovetop burner called Smart Burners.
Director of Housing and Residence Life, Bob Boyle, said they would test the burners out this semester in the community kitchen in building Y of Osprey Landing.
A Smart Burner is different from the old-fashioned coil burners currently installed. They will heat to a certain point but remain under the flash point of oil, which is the point at which oil will burst into flame.
“It’s smart in the sense that ‘I’ve gotten so hot now I can cool off a little bit’ and then, ‘oh wait, they’re still cooking I need to maintain a high temperature while not getting to the point of flashing oil.’” Boyle said.
There are eight burners installed in Osprey Landing. Boyle wants to expand the technology into the rest of UNF’s community kitchens.
“Residents come in to use the facilities and sometimes they leave the burners on. Obviously that is a fire hazard,” Boyle said. “You want to avoid scenarios such as that, especially in large buildings.”
Although the technology is attractive to Boyle, he said this semester is a trial run. He wants resident feedback before making a commitment to install the burners.
“If students are in general not having a great experience we are going to hear about it one way or another and that’s fine, that’s why we are here,” Boyle said. “But we are going to try it out and see.”
UNF junior, Nick Morken, a sport management major who lived on campus for two years, believes that anything to increase safety is worth it.
“For most freshman at UNF, or any college really, it will be the first time cooking for themselves on a consistent daily basis without the help of mom or dad,” Morken said. “So anything that promotes the safety of the student body while preparing meals should be implemented.”
Boyle plans on getting feedback from the resident assistants and will possibly send out an opinion questionnaire to everyone living in building Y.
Sophomore Harley Horsely, statistics major, lived on campus her freshman year and thinks the new technology may not be warranted.
“I think the Smart Burners seem like a good idea since they can help prevent fires, but when I lived in the dorms last year there was never a problem with fires from cooking, so on the other hand they are kind of a waste of money,” Horsely said.
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