Firefighters educate college students in fire safety using mock smoke

College students had lessons in fire safety that included using extinguishers and checking out a "smoky" hallway


By Denise Richardson
The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y.

College students had lessons in fire safety that included using extinguishers and checking out a "smoky" hallway, among other demonstrations, Oneonta Fire Chief Patrick Pidgeon said.

Residence advisers, staff and students from the State University College at Oneonta and Hartwick College attended the training Aug. 17, Pidgeon said.

(Photo/OFD Facebook)
(Photo/OFD Facebook)

Two rectangular metal pods representing dorm rooms were used to demonstrate how quickly fire spreads and the impact of sprinklers on putting out a blaze, Pidgeon said. The pods were similarly presented with furnishings, he said, and one pod had a sprinkler and the other didn't. The department often picks up furniture discarded by college students for use in the demonstrations, he said.

Theatrical "smoke" was used to simulate a smoky hallway and help teach students about the impact on visibility and other possible dangers, Pidgeon said. The Oneonta Fire Department has an average response time of 4 or 5 minutes, he said, but a fire could progress before someone finds and reports it, he said.

State fire officials assisted in the training program, Pidgeon said, and presenters also talked about the dangers of "over-indulgence" of alcohol. While OFD crews are trained to take life-saving measures, he said, the message to students was "don't be one of the statistics."

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