A Refresher on Fire Safety

Grace Bruening, Staff Writer

With today’s technology and trained professionals, fires are not a main cause for concern, however, every year, more than three thousand people die in fires – and with more and more skyscrapers being built, it is just a matter of time before that number increases.

Ralston Valley High School on an average school day, has more than three thousand people inside it. Packed to the brim with teenagers and staff, a fire could have a detrimental impact.

“A primary concern when evacuating a high school is ensuring that everyone is out safely. With a lot of students being in school, it’s difficult to ensure that everyone is out, said firefighter Christian Orizaba. “In a packed hallway, it’s vital to remain calm. The biggest thing to avoid is shoving people down because it will cause a bigger disruption in exiting the building. Exit the building, and avoid from going into other rooms.”

Spanish one and two teacher, Giana Romero averages thirty students per class, and is very aware of the problems that could emerge in the case of a fire. But when asked if she felt comfortable leading her students out of the building she replied, “I feel confident to lead them out… the fire drills, I feel, are very accurate.” However, when asked if she felt confident with a substitute teacher leading her students to safety, she replied, “No, no I definitely do not, my subs have a hard time following directions as it is,” she went on, “they would have a hard time knowing where my kids are… when you get to know your students, you know their presence. A substitute would not know that.”

“The most important thing to do when a fire alarm sounds in an unfamiliar building is to remain calm, look for the nearest exits, and listen to instructions from staff and employees. Some things you should never do when an alarm sounds in a large building is panic. Other people around you will begin to panic making the situation even more chaotic,Mr. Orizaba said when asked what to do in the case you are in a large building that is unfamiliar during a fire. He continued, “Evacuation plans are put together by either the owner/principal or governing body. Then a fire department representative comes out to the business or school to observe the drill. Drills must be done correctly in a certain amount of time prior to approval. The biggest thing is listen to teachers, staff, etc. they are always looking out for the safety of their students or patrons.”