Be prepared in case of fire

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Above, Captain Doug Bode of the Kirtland Fire Department in Ohio shares
how to use a fire extinguisher.

What are the best fire extinguishers?
The best fire extinguishers are the multipurpose ABC kind:
  • Class A is for paper, fabric plastic, rubber and wood
  • Class B is for gasoline, grease, oil, paints and cleaning
    solvents (petroleum based products)
  • Class C is for electrical equipment.

#6: Become a smoke detector checker.
Surely you know the importance of installing smoke detectors,
but do you check the batteries on these devices twice a year?
You should!  Here is an easy way to remember: check smoke
detectors at Christmas time when you put up your ornaments,
and then check in July when fireworks come to mind.

Another important tidbit about your smoke detectors is that you
should replace them every ten years or so.

#7: Consider candle safety.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA),
candles cause about 3% of reported home fires. What's most
interesting is that the NFPA says 36% of home candle fires
start in bedrooms!
  • Place candles only on stable platforms, away from drapes
    and decorations, and free from the pathways of children
    and pets.
  • Never leave candles unattended. Blow them out before you
    leave the room.
  • Knowing that about a third of fires start in the bedroom,
    you should probably consider not lighting them there.

#8: Be aware of home construction fires.
Don't construct your own demise. If your home is undergoing
construction, ensure workers clean up daily. The rags they leave
are highly combustible and a major reason of fire!

Oily rags ignite easily through spontaneous combustion. Store
rags in a metal container with a lid.

#9: Store fuels properly.
An easy thing you can do to help prevent a fire in and around
your home is to store fuels properly:

  • Store pesticides and gas cans in sealed containers away
    from possible ignition sources.
  • Keep wood piles and propane tanks 30-feet from your
  • Ensure propane is stored only outside, and in a well
    ventilated area.
  • Store fuels in proper color coded containers and know
    mixing fuels could be lethal:

Learn more about
storing fuels properly.

#10: Keep your grill equipment clean.
Enjoy the barbecue? Cleanliness is the key to preventing fires
from barbecue equipment, particularly food and grease
buildups, so get out the
grill cleaning brush.

Periodically inspect the tubes leading into the burner to look for
blockage from food, grease or bugs. Keep the drippings away
from gas hoses, and check for gas leaks. If you find a leak,
don't use the grill!

#11: Take fireplace safety seriously.
Have a fireplace? A sturdy fireplace screen is key. Each year
fireplaces cause 14,000 house fires in the U.S. Tips for your
fireplace include:
  • Keep your hearth covered with a screen or tempered glass.
  • Clean creosote buildups
  • Check for cracks in the flue
  • Always have a safe place to dump ashes

#12: Have a burn kit handy.
Burns happen. As part of your first aid preparedness plans, you
know how to treat burns. Also, Ensure you have
eyewash on hand as smoke will irritate eyes.

#13: Get a gas valve shutoff tool.
After an earthquake the biggest danger is from fire when gas
lines rupture and burst into flames, which is why it's important
to have a
gas valve shutoff tool for quakes, but for wildfires it's
also important. Make sure to have the gas valve shutoff tool
easily accessible near your gas valves and know how to use the
tool to help prevent an explosion.

#14: Consider a fire safe.
Keep your important documents fire safe! For starters, have a
list ready of things to grab, including copies of important
documents, pictures and sentimental items.

Having photographs and important documents in a safe deposit
box is another good idea. Beyond the ordinary measures of
having these things and a 72-hour kit, preppers.

A fireproof safe offers protection from both fire and water for
your important documents, including passports and birth
certificates. A continuous 360 degree jamb and waterproof seal
completely insulates the interior from the threat of water
invasion of the fireproof safe pictured right.

#15: Have fire suppression tools handy.
Most preppers are more concerned about knowing how to start
a fire than stopping one. Learn how to suppress a fire and be
sure clean up the dry brush around your home. Become your
own firefighter!

  • Ensure you have a 100-foot fire line around your property
    to mitigate brush fires.

  • Regularly rake leaves, dead branches and other flammable
    vegetation in 100-foot zone.

  • Sweep porches and decks of pine needles and dry leaves.

Get fire suppression equipment:

  • Shovel. It doesn't get more basic than a shovel, but a
    spade will do as well. What's the difference between a
    shovel and spade?

  • Pulaski Axe. Chop roots and get the ground down to soil
    to make fireline so nothing will burn. It's hard work to
    make a fireline 10 to 20 feet, but if it protects your
    homestead it's well worth the effort! It's ideal for grubbing
    and for chopping a Pulaski axe is forest firefighter's friend.

  • McCloed Rake. Forest Service approved, fire tool for
    residential or commercial use, the McCloed rake will help
    you clear fire-prone debris

  • Water bucket and ash bucket. Back to basics, get a
    galvanized metal bucket (one sturdy enough to last you
    years hauling water) and another bucket other to contain
    the ashes of your wood burning cook stove or outdoor
    cooking equipment.

#16: Have a defensible space.
In California, there's a 100-feet of defensible space law. It
means that homes and structurs must have 30-100 feet
clearance of brush. This dramatically increases your home's
chance of surviving a wildfire.

#17: Know what to do in case of wildfire.
Have your vehicles bugout ready during the fire season: with
the hood of the car facing forward where no backing up is
required, and have it geared up with
car essentials.

If a wildfire is imminent and there is time:
  • Turn off the gas with a gas valve shutoff tool.
  • Turn off air conditioning and close windows.
  • Open the fireplace damper, but close the fireplace screen.
  • Make sure everyone is wearing boots and long pants.
  • Select clothing without strings (sweat shirt hoodie ties).
  • Tie up long hair into a pony tail.
  • Gather your wool blankets (one for every member of your
    group), along with an emergency escape mask.
  • Do NOT wet the blanket as water conducts heat and you'll
    leave yourself more susceptible to burns  #15: Have some
    fire suppression tools on hand.

Smoke inhalation accounts for 50%-80% of fire-
related deaths.
The most important thing to realize is that someone suffering
from smoke inhalation is that symptoms, as hoarse voice,
confusion, prolonged coughing and breathing difficulties can
quickly become worse and life threatening.  This is when having
CPR training comes in handy. Call 911 if the service is
available, and be ready to respond. Move the sufferer to a safe,
clean air location.

Chimney fires account for 36% of home fires.
If you own a wood stove or have a chimney have a chimney fire
suppressant handy, such as Chimfex, pictured at the top left
hand of the page. Indispensable as the first line of defense for
controlling chimney fires, Chimfex suppresses a chimney fire in
an average of 22 seconds.

What causes most house fires?
The causes include grease fires (cooking), furnace malfunction,
careless smoking, faulty electrical equipment and wiring,
candles, flammable liquids, and kids playing with fire.

Weird ways to put out the fire:

  • Baking soda can put out fire. In the old days people used
    baking soda as a fire extinguisher. Baking soda cuts the
    oxygen and can keep the flames down. Keep a jar of
    baking soda next to your stove!

  • Cookie sheet can cut the flames. Remember this: a
    cookie sheet is ideal to put top of the flames to cut the
    oxygen and keep the fire at bay.

  • Boric Acid is a Flame Retardant. Boric acid (not the same
    as Borax), is the stuff that kills roaches, pictured right. It
    has flame retardant properties, so it's good to keep some
    on hand. Learn more about how preppers use boric acid.

Learn how to use CLASS-A Foam to provide deeper penetration,
slower evaporation and greater fire extinguishing power than
plain water. FOAM-FAST Wildfire Pre-Treatment Kit is the
simplest and effective method of deploying foam onto a fire
scene.  Extends the effectiveness of plain water by 500%! Best
of all, the FOAM-FAST Wildfire Pre-Treatment Kit  is 100%
biodegradable and non-toxic, and works with a standard 3/4”
garden hose. Each cartridge produces foam for up to an hour.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Fire extinguishers carry symbols on the
    labels: read them! Using the wrong type could actually
    spread a fire.
Be prepared in case of fire
Preventing a fire is much easier than putting one out.

Beyond a bugout bag what can you do in case of fire?
What's a red flag warning? The National Weather Service issues
a Red Flag Warning to alert fire departments of possible onset of
windy and dry conditions that could lead to dramatic increases of
wildfires. This highest type of warning comes with certain
weather patterns, such as:
  • Dry fuels
  • Lightning activity
  • Low relative humidity
  • Strong winds

Are you ready in case of fire? Most preppers have a
bugout bag,
but not all of us can afford a fire-resistant Doomsday Castle, but
there are things  preppers can do to prepare for fires, such as
having a some basic equipment handy, knowing how to use a fire
extinguisher and having a defensible space. Here are tips from a
prepper's perspective on how to be prepared if a fire breaks out
the homestead.

How to Prepare for Fire at Home
Whether you live in the city, the suburbs or on the homestead,
your home is your castle and your keeps. Here's how to help keep
fire from burning it up and how to get out alive in case a  fire
breaks out:

#1: Get a fire mask.
A fire mask isn't ordinarily on the list of prepper supplies, since
many preppers already
own a gas mask. If you have a fire mask
you'll certainly breathe easier knowing you have the right
equipment for the task at hand.

Will your gas mask protect you in a fire? Probably not! Many
preppers are surprised to learn the following:

  • Oxygen. Your gas mask is a filter, which is hopefully and
    NBC gas mask, and still requires sufficient oxygen present in
    the free air to support life. Gas masks of the best kind are
    NBC gas mask filtering for Nuclear Biological and Chemical
    threats. Gas masks do not provide oxygen. Note, the fire
    escape hood right, also does not provide oxygen; however it
    does provide a flammable-resisting foil cloth. As well, the
    Kikar fire mask provides much more visibility, conforms
    better to the wearer, and the canister is attached staying
    sealed until it is opened to put the mask on your face. It's
    designed for escaping fire, gases and chemicals.

A fire mask is a good addition to preparations any prepper can
make to help ensure the safety and well being of family in the
event of a fire.

#2: Have a fire escape plan!
A fire escape ladder is a "must have" item if you're a prepper who
has a bedroom on the second or third story.

Engage children in a fire escape plan!
Parents must engage their children in fire escape strategies and
yet they are also the best gauge for how their children will
respond. A fire escape ladder is not a toy, and yet it could save a
life. Teach kids the stop, drop and roll method should they catch
fire, and practice with them crawling low, feeling door handles,
etc. If your child is old enough, show your child how to use the
fire escape ladder.

#3: Have a fire blanket handy.
Another way to be prepared in case of fire is to have a fire
blanket handy. A fire blanket not only provides first aid for shock
victims, but it can also help put out a fire.

Have a wool blanket handy for every member of your group. Wool
naturally resists flames and having wool blanket will help your
family in an escape route.

You don't need a fancy
fire blanket, although the blanket with
the red cover, right, is handy to have because you can find it
easily when you need it. The handle is nice for hanging and
transporting, but you can buy an army surplus wool blanket. The
caveat is that you must make sure that the blanket is 70-100%
wool as the wool is fire resistant. A cheap, made in China army
surplus blanket may not be wool, so let the buyer beware.

#4: Put Fire extinguishers in every room.
You may have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, but to plan for
an earthquake you'll need as many extinguishers on your property
as you have rooms.  One of the most basic ways to be prepared
for a fire is to have a fire extinguisher on hand, to check it often,
and to know how to use it.

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Know how to open the
extinguisher case, pull the pin and aim to avoid wasting precious
time. Right, is an aerosol fire extinguisher that will help stop
fires fast because it operates in a familiar way. The Tundra
aerosol can, pictured immediate left is easy enough to instruct a
child how to use. Do whatever you can to stop fires fast!

Watch the video at the bottom of the page so you know how to
use a fire extinguisher if the time ever comes.

#5: Know how to use a fire extinguisher.
A fire extinguisher isn't all that complicated, but it's important to
learn how to use one well before a fire.

Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher?
Remember pass:
  • P- pull the pin
  • A - Aim at the base of the flame
  • S - Squeeze the handle
  • S- Sweep from side to side.
Sign: how to use a fire extinguisher
Happy endings...
When you recognize fire dangers immediately you will have the
best chance for survival. Never under estimate a fire alarm. Take
immediate action to evacuate a building. It's those who hesitate
who face imminent peril. It goes without saying that you must
know multiple escape routes, hold drills, and know where to meet
up. Get out of harm's way unless you own the necessary fire gear
and have the training! Know what to do if there is no fire station
available to help.

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