I don’t need fire safety talks

This is not what an arsonist looks like. And if it was, who would stop her? Credit: Danrocha – https://www.flickr.com/photos/danrocha/5349052552/ – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Let me get one thing straight. I’m not an arsonist. I’m a sensible, compassionate, thoughtful human being. I go to a Russell Group university. I use apostrophes correctly. I’m academically successful, and everyone knows that means I’m above criticism.

I did not expect to have my intelligence and common sense affronted by my own university, a bastion of knowledge. They’ve read my personal statement: they know my interests are politics, socialising, and defending free speech. Is “starting fires” on that list? No, no it is not. And yet, when I logged on to check my timetable this morning, I was affronted by the sight of a mandatory fire safety talk.

This is an Unpopular Opinion and people will probably write angry comments or frown disapprovingly at their computer screens, but hey, I’m a white guy – it’s not like I’m going to get rape or death threats. So here goes: fire safety talks are patronising and useless.

Before you get the wrong end of the stick, let me reassure you: I love safety. I always use the emergency exits when I can. Fire alarms are my favourite sound. In fact, nothing turns me on like hard hats and knee pads.

She’ll need both of those things with me, or so I like to boast. Credit: Danrocha – https://www.flickr.com/photos/danrocha/6264591670/ – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

But that’s the reason I don’t need a fire safety talk. I know what safety is in all its complexity and nuance and I am perfect at achieving it every time, by my own standard, which is the only standard I care about. My unattended candles and slapdash oven usage are not at all a danger to those around me. After all, it’s their responsibility to make clear to me that they are flammable. If they don’t do that, how am I to know?

The people behind the fire safety scheme are probably decent, well-meaning people, but they are naive and show a shocking disregard for my feelings. They could be spending their time on so many better things. They could be performing random checks on the fire alarm system, leading rehabilitation programs with convicted arsonists, or they could actually join the fire brigade. But instead they’d rather stroke their own egos by dragging everyone into central hall for an hour every year because it will “save lives”. But really, how many arsonists will go to that talk?

Unless by arsonist you mean arse-onist, am I right? Credit: Danrocha – https://www.flickr.com/photos/danrocha/8658399011/ – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We should be respecting and revering our peers, not patronising them with important life advice. I would much rather save myself an hour of unnecessary information than prevent fires. Everybody knows that fires are only ever started by arsonists, 100% knowingly and deliberately. We should not be talking about fire safety at all – it’s basically the same as accusing everyone of being arsonists. That offends people, and offending people is bad, unless you’re offending them with racism or misogyny.

In fact, fire safety talks are extremely dangerous. If we teach everybody the most flammable places in the home, we only teach the arsonists how to do it better. But of course, those running them are too self-centred to see that. Thank God I’m here to tell them.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Mr. Flibble says:

    hahaha fuckin retard hope you get burned lol

  2. Avatar Hannah says:

    The perfect response article.

  3. Avatar rosalind says:

    why illustrate this with cleavages?

    • Because objectification! Oh, wait, no it’s not objectification when they do it. Empowerment! Yah, that’s it.

      • Avatar Barty says:

        Because I love women! That’s feminist of me, right? Also if I use pictures of women maybe people will forget that I’m actually writing from within the demographic of people most likely to rape someone, and my opinion is not as important as I think it is!

  4. Avatar Beverly says:

    Fire safety talks don’t teach us not to commit arson.

    They teach us to avoid actions that can cause fires, and to protect ourselves in the event that a fire occurs.

  5. Avatar Ceroki says:

    Your posting reads like a crappy blog where you feel the need to vent your own self-entitled ego. Terrible comparison by the way.

  6. Retarded. And reaching. You are a reaching retard.

  7. Avatar batominovski says:

    Can’t you just teach fire not to burn people? You are victim-blaming people who are injured by fire, you know?

  8. Avatar Nick Gionet says:

    Fires start accidentally. Can you rape accidentally? Do you see now why your attempt at dismissing a valid argument just makes you look stupid?

    • Avatar Frankie Ree says:

      Well, in a way accidental rape can actually happen if two people are not on the same page as each other/the law with what constitutes consent (and in what situations it cannot be counted, eg age or intoxication).
      I think there are plenty of cases of sexual harassment and rape where nobody intended any harm, but people simply didn’t understand the effect their actions had on the other person and the legal situation.
      So given sexual harassment and rape are such big issues at university, why is it so wrong to spend 1 hour (!) a year on it, just to make sure everyone understands consent?

  9. Avatar Evie says:

    Not enough nipples in the article. Or mention of nipples. I don’t care about what you think about fires! I WANT MY NIPPLES GODDAMMIT!

  10. Avatar Chris says:

    Fire safety briefings don’t exist to stop people from committing arson. that would be an exercise in futility. So this comparison doesn’t work

  11. Avatar Emma Ray says:

    Great article, although I feel that you’re not focusing enough on female arsonists. Sure, studies suggest that men commit 99% of arson attacks, but what you’re not taking into account is that some accusations of arson are false. I’m not pro-arson, I just want to make sure people are being burned equally.

  12. #notallarsonists

    ps. this response article is beautiful and you are a wonderful human being. absolutely made my day

  13. Avatar Fire starter NOT arsonist! says:

    As a deliberate strarter of fires I found the talk very insulting, the university needs to learn the difference between arsonists and those that burn things safely, like me.

  14. Avatar ---- says:

    I wonder how it would be in a world where women abusing their children was treated like men raping women, that is to say that all women have an intense desire to do it, based on the fact they’re the majority offender. I’d like to see the outrage at “Child Abandonment/Abuse Prevention Class” where women would a billion times have it nailed into their head that doing that is wrong, treating them like criminals before they’ve even done anything wrong, treating them like heartless monsters just for being born a particular way. I could just see the article now:

    “Ah, the special feeling you get when logging into Facebook and find someone thinks you’re cool enough to invite to their event. Is it a house party? Is it a social? All the possibilities race through your mind. Then it hits you. You tap the red notification and find you’ve been summoned to this year’s “I Heart Child Abuse Prevention Sessions”. Your crushing disappointment quickly melts away and is overcome by anger.

    Let me get one thing straight. I’m not a Child Abuser. I’m a sensible, compassionate, thoughtful Woman. I love Children. Of course people should only carefully look after their Children, but I still found this invitation loathsome. Like any self-respecting individual would, I found this to be a massive, painful, bitchy slap in the face. To be invited to such a waste of time was the biggest insult I’ve received in a good few years. It implies I have an insufficient understanding of what does and does not constitute Child Abuse and that’s incredibly hurtful. I can’t stress that enough.

    I feel as if I’m taking the “wrong” side here, but someone has to say it – I don’t have to be taught to not be a Child Abuser. That much comes naturally to me, as I am sure it does to the overwhelming majority of people you and I know. Brand me a bigot, a misandrist, a child abuse apologist, I don’t care. I stand by that.

    I already know what is and what isn’t Child Abuse. I also know about those more nuanced situations where Child Abuse isn’t immediately obvious as any decent, empathetic human being does. You’d think Russell Group university students would get that much, but apparently the Child Abuse Prevention teachers don’t have as high a regard for their peers as I do.

    I’m not denying there have been tragic cases of Child Abuse in the past, but do you really think the kind of people who lacks empathy, respect and human decency to the point where they’d violate their own Child is really going to turn up to a Child Abuse lesson on a university campus? They won’t. The only people who’ll turn up will be people who (surprise, surprise) already know when and how it’s okay to discipline their Children. No new information will be taught or learned. It will just be an echo chamber of people pointing out the obvious and others nodding along, thinking the whole time thinking that they’ve saved the world.

    Next time you consider inviting me or anyone else to another bullshit event like this, have a little respect for the intelligence and decency of your peers. You might find that’s a more effective solution than accusing them of being vile Child-Abuser-In-Waiting.”

    Citation on mothers/women being the majority of child abusers: https://outofthefog.net/images/Child%20Maltreatment%202001.jpg

    • Avatar Frankie Ree says:

      I like how you write an opinion of people who aren’t you on events that haven’t happened (yet).
      I wish I had that much insight into other people. It would really make poker a lot easier.

      But let’s be a bit more rational for a moment, just for fun.
      First of all, rape education might be in large parts to protect women (and men – men can be rape victims, too, don’t forget that!) from the awful consequences of rape, but it is not only that – it might also help people know the legal situation and realise at what point they could commit a crime that they don’t wish to commit. Of course I feel for rape victims, but I also feel for people who are accused of having committed rape when they thought they had full consent. Consent is something everyone thinks they know, but when asked whether undressing yourself in front of other people who you took home from a club constitutes consent, many people will say yes, many will say no. So clearly there is some confusion and this is too important to not tell people.

      Secondly, you are saying all men are forced to do this and all women should be targeted for child abuse workshops. Well, not all men are being targeted – only university students, because this is an issue at many universities.
      As for your suggestion to have child abuse workshops, if somebody finds a trend that for example full time employed mothers in their 20s are the most likely to abuse their children and I fell in that group, I’d be happy to give an hour or two of my time to learn how to protect my child and also myself. Because I don’t claim to know everything about child abuse in all its nuances and psychological and legal consequences.

      In those workshops, there are likely to be a few people who thought they knew what consent was and learn something new anyways. And because they thought they knew, they wouldn’t have gone to the workshop if it wasn’t compulsory. So even if you don’t personally learn anything in those workshops, you’re likely to help get somebody else educated by supporting the workshops and not protesting against them. And even if it just prevents one rape case a year and saves one person from being legally classed a rapist because they didn’t know what consent was – I’d be happy to give 1 hour of my time to prevent that one case.

  15. Avatar wtf says:

    the fuck is this shit

  1. October 25, 2015

    […] “I don’t need fire safety talks” from Campus Rag. This is a satirical article which mocks and derides those who resent the concept of consent workshops as being patronising and redundant. It makes the point by adopting the voice of such  a complainant and applying their arguments to a Fire Safety Induction. Clearly, when you apply the objections to a Fire Safety Induction, it sounds ridiculous. That’s why the article is funny – and also has some persuasive power. […]

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