Although the SRU Health Outreach Peer Education Network has done a great job of helping students learn about important issues like depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse there are some obvious limits to what the program can accomplish. I mean, they can’t inform students about every single potential problem that students could face on campus. With that in mind, I think that there are a few disorders that simply don’t get enough attention. The specifically, one disorder I would like them to address is the one known as SHC.
For those of you who are unaware, SHC stands for Spontaneous Human Combustion. The people who suffer from this phenomena literally catch on fire for seemingly no reason. The scary thing is that this isn’t uncommon. In fact, Wikipedia states that there have been 200 cases within the past 300 years. With such a large number of people suffering from SHC, I’m surprised that these statistics haven’t ignited a movement to study spontaneous combustion. It seems like this should be a really hot topic.
Although we may not know how exactly it happens, at the very least, I can give you some methods that you could use in case someone who know suddenly catches on fire. The first and most important thing you should know is how to identify if somebody is on fire.
If your friend is on fire, they should be a reddish-orange color. If this is the case, don’t panic. Your friend may have just tried to go tanning without the proper amount of sunblock. Touch your friend. If you want to touch the crotch, breast, or ass areas, be sure to get permission first. If making contact burns your finger, then your friend may be on fire. The last test is to take a big whiff of your friend. If he or she smells like burning flesh, you should probably be worried.
After confirming that your friend is in, fact, on fire you have to find a sensitive way to break it to them. A lot of people make the mistake of being to upfront about it and simply say something like, “Hey, you’re on fire.” This phrase can be completely ineffective in the wrong context. For example, if your friend spontaneously combusts while reading his poetry, or while pumping iron at the gym and you tell him that he’s on fire, he will assume that you are complimenting him rather than warning him about his impending death by fire. Instead, try to say something simple and calming such as, “My dearest friend, there is no cause for alarm but you seem to be suffering from a skin condition known as SHC, or Spontaneous Human Combustion. If you do not get assistance soon, you will most likely die in the most painful way imagine. But don’t worry, I am here for emotional support.” If you want your friend to survive their fight with SHC, emotional support is essential.
Physical support is also necessary for dealing with SHC, as emotions are not especially effective at putting out fires. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you are not in a residence hall. If you are in a residence hall, you may cause the fire alarm to go off, which will anger the residents so much that if the spontaneous combustion doesn’t kill your friend, they will. Nothing makes people more hostile than loud fire alarms.
Once you have found a safe location away from the residence halls, you can begin to put out the fire. The most effective way to do this is to remove your friend from an environment with oxygen. Fire needs oxygen to survive, so if you put your friend in an environment without oxygen, the fire will quickly die out. There is very little air in the mesosphere; so if possible, you should take your friend there.
If that is impossible, try to pour a bucket of water on the fire.