You probably remember fire drills from back when you were in school. The alarm sounds and students calmly exit, single file, in neat, orderly lines outside the building. Most students can handle it, but it doesn't exactly prepare students for the event of an actual fire. It's very doubtful that you'd be seeing any of those single file lines if the building were actually ablaze.
The Nanhu Vocational School in the Hongkou District of Shanghai, China, decided to run last week's drills with a little extra realism. The school teamed up with the local fire department and actually set fires for an intense drill obstacle course for more than 1,000 students.
The students ran through flaming doorways with napkins over their mouths and noses to protect them from smoke inhalation.
Once they've safely escaped, students grab protective gear and fire extinguishers and join their peers in fighting the spread of the fire.
The use of actual fires during fire drills has been a source of fascination to Americans and Europeans over the last century. It is, of course, the origin of the outdated (and culturally insensitive) slang term "Chinese fire drill" to describe a chaotic situation. Although many Chinese schools teach students how to use an extinguisher and demonstrate with real fire, many Chinese fire drills are run like those in the US. A former Chinese student said in a Daily Mail interview that this level of preparation isn't the standard: “Usually the fire is in the corner and there’s a little bit of smoke as we get shown how to evacuate, but nothing like this.”
Hongkou’s fire brigade spokesperson Chen She explained the rationale, “We don’t want to leave anything to chance, to make sure that students are prepared for all eventualities in the event of a fire."
Via: Daily Mail