Igniting a passion for fire safety at Durham College


The billowing smoke of a fire at Norwood Circle last month was no match for Christopher Giatti, who moved fast to protect his house and his roommates from the thick black clouds.

The fire stripped the tenants of their belongings, including clothes, textbooks, and technology. Members of the Fire and Life Safety Technician program raised around $300 among their own class, while also raising funds through a bake sale.

When a fire sparks, it doesn’t discriminate between tearing apart homes, businesses, towns, or nature. But the measures you can take to prevent fires could have the potential to save lives.

That was the message at the first Fire Prevention Week at Durham College, put on by Fire and Life Safety Technician students and faculty. Recently, the Fire and Life Safety program merged with the Canadian Fire Safety Association, which offers students like Giatti real-life expertise and industry information from experts.

As a part of Giatti’s program, he is sent to find fire hazards on the DC/UOIT campus. As a result, many fire hazards and safety concerns have been corrected due to the diligence of the students and compliance of the school.

One issue that could potentially cause fires, especially in the autumn with dry leaves, is smoking section regulations and how they are enforced.

“Out of every exit you should see a yellow line. You’re supposed to be thirty feet away,” Giatti explains.

However, some dispensers are located only fifteen feet away from the exit. This causes confusion among smokers, especially when some of the yellow lines are barely visible.