I'm on fire!?

In the beginning of this year we all received a mail at work whether we were interested in a short course to estinguish fire. I skipped it without much thought, without truly considering that I could do this. Later when cleaning up my mailbox, I came across the mail again and now it got a bit more attention. I realised that I had no idea how to use a fire estinguisher and that in case of fire I'd probably panic and do all the wrong things first.

As a result I was part of a very small group of colleagues yesterday taking the course. And I learned a lot: the different types of fire distinguishers with their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages! I didn't know there were different types really.
Afterwards we got the opportunity to estinguish a deep fryer with a special blanket (important skill in the country that invented French fries!), and we had to estinguish a fire in a garbage bin, a computer on fire and a big bin with a liquid on fire (picture).
And here's some lessons learned that I want to share:
* NEVER EVER EVER put even a little bit of water on a burning deep fryer. I already knew that, but now I got to see the effects of such a mistake. Impressive fire ball !!
On the other hand, slowly putting the fire out with a fire blanket is not scary at all. Behind such a special blanket you don't even feel the fire you approach. Just make sure your hands are covered by the blanket as well.
And don't lift the blanket from the fryer for at least 20 minutes if not the fire just explodes back into your face.
* Powder estinguishers are easy to use from a large distance and very effective...but they will kill all electronics in the room with some delay due to corrosion. So never accept an immediate settlement from the insurance if you have used a powder estinguisher! Carefull, a fire can restart still!
* Never enter the room more than 2 steps if you are going to use a powder estinguisher: the powder cloud takes out all visibility and you'll have a hard time leaving the room.

* Foam estinguishers work just as well also from a large distance, are more expensive but will only damage the things it has been sprayed on (so not all electronics in the room) and the fire cannot revive after the foam has touched it!
But it can freeze so don't put it in the shed, garage or car!
* CO2 estinguishers cannot estinguish vast materials that have been on fire for a while since it dissolves in the air too quickly.


Allie said…
My only experience with a fire extinguisher is when it went off in the back of my SUV (Isuzu Rodeo). It was Debbie's and her dad insisted that we have one as we drove down to Ryla. We forgot to take it out and then one night a couple of months later, as I was merging onto a major roadway in Calgary, it rolled and then the pin must have come out. It blew up and I didn't have time to realize what had happened. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe, couldn't see and almost drove into the middle of traffic. I managed to get the window rolled down, pulled over and fell out of the car due to lack of oxygen; I was so scared because I still didn't know what had happened. So I turned around and drove home with the windows open. I ran into the house screaming for Paul and he almost passed out: I was covered, head to toe in white powder and I was crying still not being able to breathe very well. Paul thought that I drove into the big hole where the street was under construction just down from our house. He ran out to the SUV and realized what had happened. I got in the shower and then we took the car to go and wash it. That was about 7 years ago and we still will find that powder in the vehicle.

Popular Posts