DC teaches how to R.E.A.C.T

Christopher Giatti, president of the DC Fire and Life Safety Systems Technician program.

Hearing the blaring beeps coming from the smoke alarm is a horrifying noise, however, there are many precautions, such as dusting, to keep notice of so that your alarm does not go off in a real fire.

Durham College and UOIT have a campus emergency procedure, which became effective as of May, 2014. This is called R.E.A.C.T. It encourages people upon the discovery of a fire to R-remove all occupants, E-enclose the area you are leaving, A- activate the fire alarm, C- call campus security and T- take the stairs. This procedure is also to be updated May, 2016.

Christopher Giatti, 21, is the president of the Fire and Life Safety Systems Technician program and the Durham chapter of the Canadian Fire Safety Association. He puts together and coordinates the events for fire safety as well as explains and tells people what to do to in the act of a fire and how to prevent it.

He gives some tips on what to do to prevent fires as well as the action to take in the event of one.

“Check your smoke alarms monthly,” he starts off by saying, being very proactive about this tip, and to change the batteries every one to two years.

He adds that dusting appliances is very effective because dust is extremely flammable as it is made of carbon.

In the event of a fire you should “have two ways out” and Giatti recommends using the hanging method which involves reaching out your window “hang, then drop so the drop isn’t as far down as it usually is.” Even if you are not in a bedroom you should always have two ways out during a fire situation.

Also instead crawling on your elbows to find your way out of a fire, you are supposed to crawl on your hands and knees.

“They’re now proving that crawling isn’t the best… they’re just starting to show studies that are done where there’s an area where there’s black thick smoke that’s dangerous, but there’s also unburned chemical gases that are below that, that are heavier than air,” he says. The harsh, poisonous gases under the black smoke have cancer-causing agents.

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Jordyn Gitlin is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. When it comes to writing and reporting, she enjoys covering entertainment events. She likes to spend her spare time writing novels, reading and singing. Jordyn hopes to pursue a career in entertainment or novel writing following graduation.