Event at Piedmont North stikes students’ interest in fire safety

A half-hour event held in the parking lot of the Piedmont North student housing complex,  was focused on the proper usage of a fire extinguisher.

At first, less than 10 people were present for the event, but the crowd of students gradually built up after 6 p.m. when the event began.

It was organized by Chantana Dean, a residence assistant at the University Commons, in collaboration with Jennifer McWhorter, a fire safety officer at Georgia State University’s Office of Emergency Management.

According to Dean, the inspiration for the event was a previous incident at the first floor of the University Commons when a resident left a pot on the stovetop in the kitchen and left the room. When the resident returned, the room was on fire.

“They didn’t know how to use a fire extinguisher & had to call someone and that’s when the fire trucks came,” said Dean.

It led to a complete evacuation of Commons Building C.

After McWhorter gave a brief opening seminar, the demonstration involved the lighting of a match in a 55 gallon drum cut in half and covered in diesel fuel. Flames would then emanate from the drum. McWhorter made numerous references to how the flames would’ve been much bigger if it was covered in gasoline and not diesel fuel.

Several students got to participate in putting out the flames with the usage of fire extinguishers. McWhorter and the Atlanta Fire Department firefighters on hand explained the method used when using a fire extinguisher.

On numerous occasions, the smoke blew toward the crowd. McWhorter and the APD personnel on hand had to repeatedly warn the students so they wouldn’t inhale any oncoming fumes.

The fires even got the attention of several student and non-student onlookers outside Piedmont North.

As more opportunities to volunteer rose, more students took part in the half-hour fire safety event. The crowds began to gradually disperse as it winded down.

“I think it was worth it.” said Sage Morgan, a freshman who resides at the Commons.  “ We needed it. A lot of people that came can be prepared now.”

About Akiem Bailum 285 Articles
Akiem Bailum - Sports Editor Fall 2014 - Spring 2015. Journalism major with a concentration in telecommunications. Class of 2015. Before becoming sports editor at The Signal, Akiem began his writing career at Georgia State in 2012. After a brief absence, he returned to The Signal in 2014. Akiem has covered Georgia State sports events on site for football, volleyball, basketball and softball games. His advice for future sports writers is to cover more than major sports and to attend as many events in person as possible. When away from the court or the field, Akiem's interests include studying the radio industry.

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