Western sparks up safety
London Community News
Photos by Mike Maloney/London Community News/Twitter: mdmaloneyphoto
Students attending first-year orientation activities at Western University learned more than where their next class is located during a demonstration staged by Western’s Fire Safety and Emergency Management Department on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 5).
Incoming students watched as a mock-up of a typical suite — completely furnished with all the trappings of the average student — was transformed in minutes with one match-sized spark into a blazing inferno, visually illustrating without a doubt, the deadly power of fire.
“We want to impress upon the kids the life-skill that when they hear a fire alarm or see or smell smoke, it is a very serious situation and they need to react quickly to it,” said Frank Faroni, manager of Fire Safety and Emergency Management at Western.
For most of these students, it is their first time away from home. Faroni said this was a way to show them that situations like this are not at all as they appear on television.
Having run this demonstration for the last four years, Faroni said the reaction of students is generally, “Complete awe.”
One student that would agree with his assessment was Nancy Xu, a first year student enrolled in social sciences who had a front row seat for the demonstration.
“It was surprising how fast it went, how fast it spread over the entire room. The amount of smoke was the most surprising thing.” she remarked.
Asked how she would react to a fire now after the demonstration, Xu said in the past she may have behaved differently. But after seeing what she saw today, there would be no hesitation, “That makes me just want to get up and get out."
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