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Author: TMFSelena Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 129241  
Subject: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/3/2004 5:42 PM
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Folks --

Thanks for sharing all this excellent guidance on fire safety and dealing with the loss of a home by fire. It's inspiring me to think about preparing an article on the topic -- one that would, I must confess, draw heavily on those of you who've gone through the unimaginable (to me) experience of having a home detroyed by fire. I think this is a topic very much worth exposing more people to, as it will surely help some people minimize headaches, if not avoid a terrible fire altogether.

So... keep any advice or experiences coming, if you can and would like to. I'll keep my eye on the board for any such posts and you may also feel free to email me at SelenaM@fool.com.

Thanks!

Selena
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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48807 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/3/2004 6:25 PM
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OK.

An obvious one is to have a fire extinguisher in a couple of handy locations. Those - logically - would be front door, back door, kitchen, and perhaps the barbeque grill.

Now here's the fun part. Don't put them at the front door, back door, kitchen, or barbeque grill.

If the front door is on fire, you won't be able to get to the fire extinguisher which you have conveniently located right next to the door. Put it in the foyer someplace - but not next to the door. Ditto for not next to the barbeque. If it goes up, the last thing you want to do is run to the grill and feel around for a fire extinguisher.

After our neighbors' fire we had a guy (several, actually, and women too) come out from our local fire department and they spoke at a neighborhood meeting. (That's another tip, in case you missed it. And it's free!) They said if you have a fire extinguisher - and IF you've been good about keeping it maintained (tip!), you have about ONE SHOT to knock the flames down, and then get the hell OUT. If you don't get it right away, don't stand there and fight it.

Get yourself an exit path and get out.

Also, if you have managed to knock the flames down, call the fire department anyway. These things have a nasty habit of roaring back to life because there's an ember which fell down behind the stove, refrigerator, carpet padding, or whatever. Let the folks who do it for a living make sure everything's out.

As it turns out, our neighborhood did not have fire hydrants; they weren't "in code" when the neighborhood was developed. (Nor was the infrastructure in place; we had 4" mains, and hydrants require 6" throughput. The mains had been replaced with 6", but the county never added the hydrants.)

So in our case, the fire department comes with water trucks, sets up an inflatable pool, fills it with water, then pumps from the pool as trucks ferry water back and forth. You can imagine that adds time before water actually gets on the fire.

We got our neighbors together and spent $14,000 for installation of hydrants, 8 of them total, each a maximum of 500 feet from the nearest home. (They can pump 1,000 feet of hose but don't like the pressure at the end of that run.)

Curiously enough, we heard from one other neighborhood to MAKE SURE they tested the hydrants. Seems there had been a fire and when they went to tap the hydrant, it had never been tested, and the internal valve was jammed, and oops, no water. Has anyone tested your hydrants in the past 10 years? How would you know?

OK. Smoke detectors on every level. And do you have one in your garage? Sure, why would you have one in the garage, where you have two gas tanks full of highly flammable material, and which is probably right under your bedroom?

Do you have a "safety spot" where your whole family will gather in case of a fire? That's how you get a head count, so you can tell the fire department if anybody is left inside. You really don't want to be running back into a burning building looking for little Johnny if he's already outside, just over on the other side of the house, do you?

Does everybody have at least two ways out of their bedrooms? Can the kids open a window - or break it and jump out if they absolutely had to? Would you be willing to show them how, and trust that they won't do it except if there's a fire, in which case they should know it's OK to throw a chair through the window?

There was a bunch more stuff they talked about, but (of course) I've forgotten a lot of what wasn't relevant to us.

We got the hydrants in, the neighbors got their house rebuilt, I made a video of our "contents" and added a smoke alarm. Mrs. Goofy headed up the fire hydrant project, and then passed it downstream to me when she got tired of it. I got to be "coordination boy", telling neighbors when their lawn would be dug up (it was reseeded and all) and making sure they were OK with the placement on their property and so forth (8 placements, 62 homes). So it was a hassle, but we have hydrants, and we feel a lot better about it.
 



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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48808 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/3/2004 6:49 PM
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An obvious one is to have a fire extinguisher in a couple of handy locations. Those - logically - would be front door, back door, kitchen, and perhaps the barbeque grill.

Now here's the fun part. Don't put them at the front door, back door, kitchen, or barbeque grill.

If the front door is on fire, you won't be able to get to the fire extinguisher which you have conveniently located right next to the door. Put it in the foyer someplace - but not next to the door. Ditto for not next to the barbeque. If it goes up, the last thing you want to do is run to the grill and feel around for a fire extinguisher.


And don't put one near the stove such that you have to reach over the stove to reach it.

Also, if you have managed to knock the flames down, call the fire department anyway. These things have a nasty habit of roaring back to life because there's an ember which fell down behind the stove, refrigerator, carpet padding, or whatever. Let the folks who do it for a living make sure everything's out.

Please, please, please - don't be too embarrassed to call the fire department.

Curiously enough, we heard from one other neighborhood to MAKE SURE they tested the hydrants. Seems there had been a fire and when they went to tap the hydrant, it had never been tested, and the internal valve was jammed, and oops, no water. Has anyone tested your hydrants in the past 10 years? How would you know?

Worth finding out. Here, they announce testing; and the testing (or aftermath) is easily observed.
--------------------------------
Your house insurance can be lowered by proximity of hydrant or firehouse or pond.
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Never be casual about fire (especially with kids); lighters/matches/candles/fireplaces can easily cause great damage, pain and death.




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Author: dsracic Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48812 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/3/2004 7:27 PM
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I can't say I've ever had a home catch fire, but my parents did when I was younger. It was "just" a flu fire, but it scared them (and my younger brothers and I) pretty good. If you have a wood stove, or even one of those cute gaslog setups inside of an old fireplace, it probably can't hurt to have a chimney sweep come out every fall. My folks did religiously after their fire. I remember goodies that got into the chimney that would be catch if they got hot enough; everything from leaves, to branches, to squirrels, to bird nests.

I'm not an architect or a builder, but if you have a "small" fire in your chimney, I'll bet you it heats up that wall that adjoins your kid's bedroom upstairs in a hurry, and depending when your home was built and what code had to be followed (or not) at the time, I imagine it would do a number on the insulation around those wires in that wall, which would of course increase your risk of later electrical fire.

Again, I'm not a home builder, etc, etc. But I'm still not a big fan of fireplaces.

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Author: wecoguy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48826 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/4/2004 1:13 AM
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Consider a sprinkler system in your garage!

I used to use my garage as my woodworking shop, had a close call thanks to Watco Danish oil stain... Spontaneous combustion.. now the routine is to use paper towels, soak 'em in detergent and water, put 'em in a ziploc and get rid of them..

I moved my work to a separate building, added rag cans, extinguishers all over..

But sprinklers out there would have stopped it cold..

weco

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Author: Frankp12 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48828 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/4/2004 4:04 AM
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I used to use my garage as my woodworking shop, had a close call thanks to Watco Danish oil stain... Spontaneous combustion

As I use Watco Danish oil and rags once in a while, exactly what did you do to cause spontaneous combustion? I usually let the rags dry out a bit after I use them but just how careful do you have to be?
- Frank

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48829 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/4/2004 4:39 AM
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I usually let the rags dry out a bit after I use them but just how careful do you have to be?

Extremely. How do you let the rags dry? Do you wash them? I recall seeing something about this several years ago. The spontaneous combustion is not common, but it does happen. Never pile up your oily rags together, and wash them thoroughly (even if you are trashing them, lest your trash can ignite).

Until you are confident they are well-cleaned store them outside away from any structure. I know it sounds paranoid, but better that than meeting your local firemen and insurance adjusters (in the same day).

1poorguy

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Author: robertoluna Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48851 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/4/2004 2:16 PM
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I haven't seen this one mentioned yet, but be sure to vacuum out the interior of your dryer. When I was a teenager, our next-door-neighbors lost most of their house when their dryer caught on fire. As an adult, I knew it was a risk, but didn't have any idea how it happened or how to prevent it.

Last year about this time I smelled something burning in the house and realized it was coming from the wash room. I turned off the dryer and checked the exhaust hose, but found no blockage. That's where I thought the problem occurred--in the hose that connects the dryer to the outside of the house. I wondered if perhaps something happened to the motor, so I called a repairman.

He came out, opened a panel at the bottom of the dryer and showed me a two-inch layer of charred lint that was in there. It was clear we were very fortunate--we often run the dryer when we leave the house, or worse, while the family is sleeping.

The kicker to me was that I had no idea that panel and that area was there. I thought if we kept the exhaust hose clear we would be okay. We had five or six years of lint build-up in there, and the heating element in my dryer is about two inches above the floor of the dryer. It was only a matter of time until the lint built up enough to be ignited.

Just yesterday I opened that panel and vacuumed out the lint that had built up in a year. If you don't know how to clean your dryer, I suggest you get up from your chair and go figure it out right now. Or maybe you can go to the manufacturer's web site and learn how. If your dryer is more than a few years old, you could be in the same boat I was in. At least now you know the risk.

Bob




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Author: wecoguy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48854 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/4/2004 4:12 PM
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As I use Watco Danish oil and rags once in a while, exactly what did you do to cause spontaneous combustion? I usually let the rags dry out a bit after I use them but just how careful do you have to be?


I had been using old toweling, maybe foot square, or hand towel sizes, mainly because it hold the stain nice.. And like you, I just laid the used towel over my radial arm saw arm and let it dry overnight. Then the next day I had gone out and swept, vacuumed all the shavings, sawdust after moving the project into the house.. Where I screwed up was feeling that the towel was dry, I folded it into a 4 ply, and just tossed it on the bench... Then left to go shopping, came back maybe an hour later, was eating lunch when it fired up..

In the process of eating up my bench top, it melted my phone wiring together, so no dial tone to call 911... My neighbor had come over and asked what I was burning.. I had heard some tinkling of glass but thought it was another neighbor.. She ran home and called it in.. In reality it was the side garage window shattering.. I had a fire extinguisher handy, went into the garage, opening the garage door as I went, luckily the fire didn't flash with the new air supply.. Anyway I knocked it down, the Fire Dept. was there in a few minutes, they sucked the smoke out.. And we looked around to see what was the cause.. Fire Captain spotted the remains of the rag.. Breaking it open, even after water and the extinguisher action, it was still smoldering.. Then he pointed out that on those Watco cans, the warnings are all the same color as the rest of the label print, no one reads them, etc...

I'll sill use toweling, but mostly just paper towels now, and do as I said before, soak them in a ziploc with a bit of detergent to break the oils down.. And added firesafe rag cans, more extinguishers, smoke detectors, and stay a lot more aware than i was..

weco





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Author: Frankp12 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48855 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/4/2004 5:21 PM
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And like you, I just laid the used towel over my radial arm saw arm and let it dry overnight. Then the next day I had gone out and swept, vacuumed all the shavings, sawdust after moving the project into the house.. Where I screwed up was feeling that the towel was dry, I folded it into a 4 ply, and just tossed it on the bench... Then left to go shopping, came back maybe an hour later, was eating lunch when it fired up.

Thank you for the detailed description. I am sure I would have burned my house down eventually if I had followed my old procedure with the rags.
- Frank


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Author: wecoguy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48858 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/4/2004 6:13 PM
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It was a scary situation. This is a double car garage, and the 3'x4' window was thrashed, smoke all over inside the attic, laundry room, it even charred the 2x4s around the window. I replaced the window, sheet-rocked all the exposed wood, but the ceiling is still open, at the time I had wood shingles, if they had caught, at a minimum the garage would have been gone..

I had a heavy metal shelf next to the window, full of spray paints, stain, etc.. the heavy metal protected them, up on top was a 1 gallon metal gasoline can for the mower.. half full.. After the fire was out, I looked up there to find that can was puffed out under pressure from the fire.. if it had blown, it would have guaranteed the garage or house would have been gone..

Now paints, fuel is stored in an outside lock-box/cabinet, altho I find myself getting sloppy about it, too busy, etc.... And I built an external shop, moved all the tools, projects out there..

weco

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48859 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/4/2004 6:35 PM
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I had a heavy metal shelf next to the window, full of spray paints, stain, etc.. the heavy metal protected them, up on top was a 1 gallon metal gasoline can for the mower.. half full..

On of the things the firefighters told us was not to store gasoline in our garage, even in approved containers. It seemed weird, since we store our cars in there, but I didn't think to ask about that at the time.

Even well capped, gas cans can produce fumes. While garages are generally "leaky" enough that it isn't a problem, sometimes it is. It's especially a problem when you go on vacation and nobody opens and closes the big door for a week and the fumes accumulate.

That was a top-of-the-mind for them, as they had just had a guy's garage explode a couple days before due exactly to this. Seems the guy flicked on the light switch, there was a spark, and, uh, no garage left.

So I moved my gas cans outside, near where I store my mower, under the deck in the back. (Actually I have two of them: gas, and a gas-oil premix).

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Author: Radish Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48873 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 2:42 AM
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Selena,

Thanks for sharing all this excellent guidance on fire safety and dealing with the loss of a home by fire.

I've had a home destroyed by fire myself http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=20046786 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=20046996

It's inspiring me to think about preparing an article on the topic -- one that would, I must confess, draw heavily on those of you who've gone through the unimaginable (to me) experience of having a home detroyed by fire.

In my case, the house wasn't finished yet, so we hadn't moved in and didn't lose much in the way of personal possessions (it was still quite an ordeal, but nothing in comparison). So I don't have advice beyond "if you're going to have a house burn down, it's best if it burns down before you move in".

Phil

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Author: TMFSelena Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48874 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 6:40 AM
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<<So I don't have advice beyond "if you're going to have a house burn down, it's best if it burns down before you move in".>>

Hey, it's still excellent advice. :) Reminds me of "The World According to Garp," where (if I recall correctly) the main character is househunting and finds a house that an airplane has crashed into -- and either he or the realtor concludes that it's a good prospect because it's been "pre-disastered."

Thanks, everyone! I'm still interested in any guidance or experiences from folks who've had their homes go up in flames to some degree. Only if you want to share, though, of course.

Selena

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48875 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 8:51 AM
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I'm still interested in any guidance or experiences from folks who've had their homes go up in flames to some degree. Only if you want to share, though, of course.

Fire had nothing to do with it, but one of my Aunts & Uncles lost their house to a flash flood in Rapid City, SD a decade (more!) back. They lost everything, except they had all gotten out (nick of time) so everyone was safe.

However all personal possessions were lost, including all pictures and memories and such. So one person, I forget who, asked that all the relatives - and all the people at church - go through their personal albums and find pictures of the family, of the kids growing up, of the house, of anything that could be relevant, have them copied, write an explanation on the back of each one, and send them in.

Then the pictures were assembled into several photo albums and presented to the family. They weren't "their" pictures, of course, but it was a time capsule which helped to replace the irreplaceable loss of pictures and memorabilia they had suffered.

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Author: DBAVelvet74 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48883 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 11:04 AM
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I haven't yet read through the whole thread, so this may have been mentioned, but one that seems to get overlooked a lot is lint in the dryer.

You need to clean out the trap about every load or two (minimum) and you need to use the vacuum hose to get out the stuff the lint trap misses.

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Author: jjarmoc Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48888 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 11:34 AM
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This Old House Magazine's April issue had some reader feedback about an article they recently did (in March maybe?) about fire safety and extinguisher placement.

Many of the readers were writing in about extinguisher placement, and several of them were firefighters and such. Some said to put the extinguishers near the exits, as you'll want to move toward the exits in the event of a fire. Others suggested putting them farther away from the fire, since you aren't likely to be concerned with fighting a fire if you're already near the exit. The first group pointed out that the suggestion of putting them further from the exits would result in someone running to get an extinguisher to fight a small fire, which could potentially spread quickly and trap them.

At any rate, all agreed that having extinguishers and making sure they are functional and everyone knows were they are is the key first step. Of course, the first priority in a fire (even a small one) is to keep yourself safe. Exit quickly if you're in danger, and if you have a small fire that you are going to fight, be sure to keep sight of the exit and leave if fire starts to threaten your escape path.

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Author: wecoguy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48894 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 12:16 PM
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Re; gas...

I have noticed for a long time a hint of natural gas odor in the garage after long absences.. At one time we had a natural gas BBQ in the back yard/deck, I had removed the line, at least back to the wall when we switched to propane/Webber.. But I think the gas valve seeped slightly, even under the very low natural gas pressure.. I fixed it las month by cutting out that whole section of piping, and running direct to the dryer. No more odor..

weco

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Author: dcarper Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48905 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 1:28 PM
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If you have a wood stove, or even one of those cute gaslog setups inside of an old fireplace, it probably can't hurt to have a chimney sweep come out every fall.

Another thing to remember about having a fireplace or wood stove; when you clean out the ashes, put them into a metal bucket, then take them out of the house. I had relatives die in a house fire, because they put the ashes (hadn't had a fire in 3 days) in a paper bag, and left it sitting by the stove. Even after 3 days, there was enough of an ember to start a fire.

Also, check the battery in your smoke alarm twice a year. When you change your clocks (as in this last weekend) it's a good time to check the battery.

David

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Author: emtwo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48906 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 1:32 PM
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If you have a wood stove, or even one of those cute gaslog setups inside of an old fireplace, it probably can't hurt to have a chimney sweep come out every fall.

Although I certainly agree with regards to the wood stove, what purpose would having your chimney cleaned every year for a gas log set? There is absolutely NO buildup of creosote or ash from a gas log set.

What exactly would the Chimney sweep be sweeping?

v/r

Michael

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Author: jjarmoc Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48910 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 3:17 PM
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What exactly would the Chimney sweep be sweeping?


The debris that can accumulate. Leaves, twigs, bird's nest, squirrel nests, etc..

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Author: anniesdad Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48913 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 3:29 PM
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What exactly would the Chimney sweep be sweeping?


The debris that can accumulate. Leaves, twigs, bird's nest, squirrel nests, etc..


Crawdads on the run.



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Author: emtwo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48914 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 3:31 PM
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The debris that can accumulate. Leaves, twigs, bird's nest, squirrel nests, etc..

Ahh...I guess I didn't make that assumption...I was basing my question on my own situation; I have a gas log set, and was curious what would nessessitate the need to have a chimney sweep come out every year.

As such, none of the above apply to me; I have a fairly new home (2 1/2 years) with a fireplace and chimney designed for gas log sets.

As such, I have no concerns with debris, as none can accumulate. If in the off-chance that something could make it into my chimney, it would be of negligible size and volume, and I doubt it would cause any issue.

My fireplace is equipped, as are most modern fireplaces I've seen, with a fireplace cap designed to prevent just those items that could collect inside.

That said, no debris, no creosote, no need for chimney sweep.

v/r

Michael


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Author: rsprang Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48922 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/5/2004 6:42 PM
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I usually let the rags dry out a bit after I use

That's all it takes - leave them crumpled up.

The usual advice is to burn them outside before disposing of them. Some folks have said they can spontaneously combust even immersed in water.

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Author: surfphoto Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48937 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/6/2004 8:42 AM
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I haven't had time to read the whole thread so, if this is a repeat please accept my aplogies. I'm a firefighter and I've found one of the best sources for info on Fire prevention/safety to be the NPFA website. My department uses this site to plan for most of our activities during fire prevention week. If this link works it will take you directly to their fire prevention week page.

The only additional tip is to make sure your house is well marked. If there is only a small fire you want us to be able to find the house before it turns into a big fire.

surfphoto

http://www.nfpa.org/FPW/index.asp

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Author: millerpim Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48945 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/6/2004 11:28 AM
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Probably the most obvious answer, which I haven't seen posted yet, is to install smoke/fire alarms. They should be mounted at least one foot away from every entry way in your home.

Just this morning I read about a fire that destroyed a home. The firefighters just barely pulled an old man out the window to safety. The news report said the home had no smoke detectors and followed it up by saying it was an older home in an older neighborhood, as if somehow that explained the absence of smoke detectors.

A smoke detector costs about $10. There's no excuse not to have a smoke detector in your home, regardless of its age.

When I bought my little 2,000 sq. ft. home, it had one smoke detector in the sun room. One of the first things I did was buy smoke detectors for every room and put them up.

Sure, it's a pain when the oven is on high and something splashes inside to cause the smoke alarm to go off. But I'd rather deal with an annoying false alarm than have no protection or warning in the event of a real fire.

elizabeth

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Author: FireChaplain186 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 49567 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 4/20/2004 2:35 PM
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Probably the most obvious answer, which I haven't seen posted yet, is to install smoke/fire alarms.

My fire department will provide them and install them for free if you don't have any; I believe most departments throughout the country are the same. Call them and ask -- please.

FireChaplain186
aka Tony


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Author: duke345432 One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50358 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 5/5/2004 6:32 PM
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sheet-rocked all the exposed wood___
<<<<<<



Garages should always have fire rated sheet rock. It is 5/8" thick and resists the heat much longer. Regular half inch stuff is good for twenty minutes, and I think the fire shield grade when properly sealed with joint compound is an hour. DO NOT BANK on this as I have not looked at that number for a long time. Building codes should be adjusted to make this grade necessary.

Unless the garage door is metal it would be the next weak point. Many are wood and very thin. As you found out windows do not hold up very long and immediately fee fresh air into the fire.

Sprinklers are now required for new construction where I live. If I had a garage I would retrofit it.

Insurance cost for sprinkler equipped houses are significantly lower.

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Author: wecoguy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50367 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 5/6/2004 12:40 AM
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Are they equipping sprinklers throughout the house, or only the garage or maybe kitchen?? I have considered them in my garage, but haven't followed through.. residential 3/4" supply lines may not be enough to supply many heads without a significant pressure loss.. Maybe a reserve tank.. But, any spray would certainly slow if not stop the fire.. I have a couple heads from an old jobsite, but they are on 1" or 1.5" pipe.. Probably a vary high flow rate.. junk..

weco

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Author: RaptorD Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50454 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 5/7/2004 12:22 PM
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Hi, Selena,

As a builder, I think our brother & Sister Fools have covered just about everything I can think of, except one thing, and this applies to everyone here, and everyone you know:

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use plastic tubing as dryer vent material. Always use metal. When lint clogs in dryer vent tubing (which it commonly does) the combination of the lint and the plastic venting will light up a house in not minutes, but seconds.

This has happened in my (smaller) city twice within the last 18 months, and our fire chief said that this tubing is one of the worst, and most dangerous, items commonly found in a home, be it new or 120 years old.

Save a life, use metal dryer vents, and tell all your friends and relatives to, also!

Dan

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Author: rsprang Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50499 of 129241
Subject: Re: More fire-related tips, please! Date: 5/8/2004 6:59 PM
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NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use plastic tubing as dryer vent material.

The guy at the local hardware store (who is generally pretty knowledgable) claims that this is more of an issue with a gas dryer, and claims that the flames can touch the vent pipe. Don't know if that's true or not, but I agree that plastic should not be used. I'm not all that fond of the flexible metal, either - I usually use solid metal duct work for dryer vent.

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