Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fire Prevention

rdc_TPFT_DSC_2520_20091104, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

The last several weeks have not been tops for one of the nation's refinery of oil. They suffered several set backs in regards to fires. Thankfully, few if anyone were injured in the fires which were quickly contained & controlled. The most recent fire damaged some homes in a Woodscross neighborhood which were damaged due to being within an unknown blast zone.

I'd hate to think about the fire damage done had teams not been on location. I know when I hear the local fire units roll out, they heading out for damage control. Seldom do the brigades arrive in time to stop the spread of immediate damage.

The day of the Woodscross fire the Wasatch Camera Club had the opportunity to experience the training that went to use earlier that day at another facility. The above image is taken at the training facility.

Before going out to the location one of the firemen (a club member) briefed us. He said the local fire brigades will not enter the facility under their chief's command, they will take up defensive positions outside the property, and follow instructions as directed by the facility's team if their help is requested in the facility. He went on to say the company's fire brigade is staffed by employee volunteers who train regularly and who are on a rotating on call duty roster. They have teams on scene literally within seconds verses minutes if they relied on an outside source.

As I set up my camera gear in the designated viewer area I thought back to my own fire fighting training with Mercy Ships. It was train, train, and train some more. Review the materials list, know the lay out of the ship/facility, know the gear, concentrate on the task at hand, etc.

Not only do I remember the physical aspect of it I also remember the preparation of it. The best way to put out a fire is not to let it start. Most of our would be fires were because of an over loaded power transformer 220v stepped down to 110v. These transformers would overheat, sizzle producing acidic smoke, and blow a circuit breaker. We'd keep our eyes and noses on the look out for overloaded transformers.

The designer's of the m.v. Africa Mercy took the lessons learned, the safety requirements, and implemented them. I haven't been to the m.v. Africa Mercy but I have seen her design, talked with the engineers, and those involved in the project. I know that our old ship issues were addressed. I'd say she's a very safe ship from that aspect.

As we head into this year's holiday season, as we pull out our decorations, as we pull out the memories of years gone by, please remember fire safety is more then not playing with matches. Fire safety begins by inspecting electrical cords and connections. Fire safety includes resisting the temptation to overload a circuit. Fire safety includes making sure flammables are away from the flames and heat source when a flame is lit or a heat source turned on. Fire safety begins with common sense.

I live in a multifamily community, not a rack and stack as some apartments are but, still I share a common wall with 2 other families. I'd hate to loose out because of a simple over sight by one of my neighbors. Even more so I'd hate for them to loose out because of me.

As we head into a season of lights, jolly, and good times please remember...

Fire safety begins with prevention.

Prevention means using common sense.

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