Students and teachers at Chibavi Community Day Secondary School in the city of Mzuzu were on Friday drilled in fire fighting skills by a fire expert from Afro General Dealers, who also works with the Civil Aviation, at the invitation of Plem Construction Limited.
Plem Construction Limited has just finished erecting new and modern structures at the school in the Improving Secondary Education in Malawi (ISEM) project funded by the European Union. The structures include classroom blocks, administration block, laboratories, library, students’ ablution block and a hall.
All prefects and monitors from both shifts of the school together with some selected teachers and students attended the training which was conducted by Mcpharren Frazer Moyo.
Moyo took the participants through three principals of fire extinguishment which are cooling (cooling below the ignition temperature), smothering (limitation of oxygen) and starvation (limitation of fuel).
He then introduced the participants to four classes of fire. Class A fires involve ordinary combustible materials like grass, textile, furniture and firewood and can best be tackled by water which cools a substance below the ignition temperature. Class B fires involve flammables fuels like petrol, paraffin, diesel and grease and can best be tackled by smothering which has the duty to isolate oxygen and can be tackled using foam and sometimes sand.
Class C fires involve gasses like butane and propane and can best be tackled by a Carbon Dioxide fire extinguisher after switching off the power supply while Class D fires involve flammable metals and can be tackled best using Monex Dry Powder fire extinguisher.
After a classroom presentation, Moyo took the participants around the school showing them all the fire fighting equipment that have been strategically positioned in the buildings for practical explanation and demonstration on how to fight fire.
Speaking to Nyasa Times after the training, Moyo said it was necessary that a big and modern school like Chibavi had fire fighting equipment but more impotantly, those using the facility must have the necessary knowledge in fire fighting.
“Knowledge in fire fighting is very important for everybody just like knowledge of first aid. I remember of a driver of a fuel tanker who was moving with fire extinguishers with him but had no knowledge of fire fighting. The tanker caught fire in Monkey Bay. We arrived when it was half burnt but we used the same equipment he had to combat the fire,” added Moyo.
Headteacher of Chibavi Community Day Secondary School, Osward Lungu, thanked Plem Construction Limited for the training component in fire fighting before the structures can officially be handed over to the community by European Union, Plem and government.
“This was a wonderful initiative by Plem. You see the students and even teachers were just seeing the equipment around the buildings but had no idea on how to operate them but now they are equipped with fire fighting skills,” said Lungu.
Angel Mulewa, a Form Four student, who was among the participants said the training was an eye opener.
“I think the skills we have acquired are not only important when we are here at school but even at home, in a minibus and several other places. I didn’t know fire has got classes. I thought every fire can be combated with water. This is indeed an eye opener,” she stressed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :