A Dollop of Sour Cream

I'm not much into spicy food. I have recently discovered that if a meal is just a tad too spicy for me, I can put sour cream on top and make it not just palatable, but wonderful. This blog is devoted to doing the same for life.

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10.01.2005

In which I discuss Fire Extinguishers

...Well, I wrote this post earlier this week. And finished just in time to lose the entire thing when Blogger went down for an hour on Thursday!

We had training on Thursday on how to use fire extinguishers. The Bellevue fire department came out to give it. I wasn't busy at all at the time that the training started, so I went. (I thought it was mandatory so I probably would have gone anyway. But being Completely Not Busy made it a easy choice.) I think I'm glad I did.

Things I learned:
Fires can go from smoldering (ie before there is any flame at all) to flashpoint (the entire room engulfed in flames all at the same moment) in just 2 minutes. Before you get there, the smoke will be so poisonous that someone would suffocate to death in the smoke. (In fact, most fire deaths are smoke inhalation, NOT flame at all!)

The first thing to do when you see a fire is to tell someone. Because of the above -- there is VERY little time to evacuate. If you try to fight a fire and fail, and DIDN'T tell anyone first, they lost precious time to evacuate.

The flames were scaringly big by the time the smoke detector RIGHT OUTSIDE THE ROOM went off! And what if the smoke detector had been elsewhere? Near the front door or something? OR if you're in your master bedroom at the other end of the house and you don't hear it right away...

A full-size fire extinguisher holds 15 seconds of fire fighting ability in it. That's all. The ones that are sold for homes are only 8 seconds (and the firefighter said was not worth buying. Buy a full size "2A10BC" fire extinguisher.

Oh, and fire extinguishers have to be easily available to hand to be any good. Buried in the back of the games closet, still in its original box, etc won't help you in the case of a real fire.

If you DO fight the fire, make sure your back is to the door, so you still have an exit if you fail. (And be 8 feet away from the fire to avoid spreading the fire with the propellant)

There were interesting tips though that even children can use:
1. If something (like popcorn. A frequent one seems to be to go off and leave popcorn popping unwatched) catches on fire in the microwave, DON'T open the door. Turn the power off and leave the door shut -- it will snuff the flame on itself.

2. If you get a grease fire on the stove, cover the pan with the lid. Turn the heat off. Again, flame smothered.

3. If you see a flame in a room and aren't going to fight it, shut the door. Every door you can get between people and flame will give the people more time to evacuate -- and a greater safety margin.

4. Practice fire drills With the smoke alarm, so you know what it sounds like. People can know all the theory in the world -- and then do nothing because they don't recognize that this is that fire alarm thing they were told to do all these steps when it went off. (This happened at our Christmas party last year. The strobe lights went off while the D.J. was making announcements, etc after lunch. And everyone kind of thought that it was part of what was supposed to be happening, so we didn't try to evacuate or anything, though some of us looked askance because the lights were coming out of "fire" light thingies. So they had to come out and TELL us to evacuate to get us out of the building.)

1 Comments:

Blogger MamaK said...

Awesome post!

11:02 PM  

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