Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some people, no common sense (Or I Smell SMOKE!!!)

I've been taking welding classes at the local community college for the past couple years, usually on Saturday mornings. Semester just began, this was the 2nd week of class.

I'm setting up my area to do some gas welding, and I keep catching a whiff of smoke. Ok, normally you will smell a little smoke here and there in a welding lab, its normal. This was a lot stronger than what I normally smell so I start looking around. When I looked at the closet that houses half of the power sources for the arc welders, I notice smoke... billowing out of the room, and a nice red glow. Sure enough, there's a fire in the power closet. Some idiot's bag on top of something it should not be on, blazing away. I yell Fire! Well, it was more like 'HOLY SHIT THERE'S A FIRE!! Teacher comes out of his area, and other students are milling about the closet doing nothing, and in the way. So I start barking orders at them to get the damn power shut off & get a fire extinguisher. Fire gets put out without having to call the fire department.

Later I find out the cause. Turns out the thing the bag was set on was a coil base power supply that caused the bag to ignite. I talked to the guy responsible long after I had a chance to calm down and not be so pissed at his idiocy. He says he KNEW that he shouldn't have put his bag there. Well no shit, buddy... good thing he didn't burn the welding lab down. Ah well. Hopefully he learned his lesson and will be more mindful of where to put flammable objects in an area where there's a lot of fire.

What gets me, is that this is the beginning of my 3rd year in this program (part time), I've taken numerous metal arts classes, been around extreme fire, molten metal, sparks, forges, etc... and I've NEVER seen something like this happen. Why did this happen? Because the guy wasn't paying attention to the fire safety instructions that our teacher gives ALL the new students at the beginning of the semester.

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