Category Archives: Fire prevention

6 Ways to Survive a House Fire

Survive a House FireHaving spent many years either as both a fireman and an arson investigator, I have been inside many burning buildings. Since I worked at a state level, I put on training classes for locals and had the opportunity to start fires in many building that were scheduled to be destroyed.  I have probably been involved in the burning of as many as 50 buildings in various training scenarios.

During this time, I have spent time in burning buildings both with and without breathing apparatus. What I want to write on today is how to exit a burning structure. The situation that is of most concern is waking up in the night to a fire.…

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9 Reasons Why Preppers Should Join their Volunteer Fire Department

Preppers Join Volunteer Fire DepartmentIf you are a prepper who lives in a smaller community, you should join your Volunteer Fire Department. This morning I was watching the news on the large wildfire that is currently burning in Southern California. It has already destroyed over 51 square miles and forced over 20,000 people from their homes as of the date of this article.

Now, this seems like a large fire, and it is, but I believe that after TEOTWAWKI, wildfires could be much larger and more frequent. The other day I had a discussion with some other retired wildland firefighters on this subject. We agreed that without any proper fire suppression efforts, a fire that started in the spring, say early June, could burn until October or November.…

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A Huge wildfire like the One at Fort McMurray can Affect You.

huge wildfire

Could you stop this? No but the cleared land may

For the last week or so, I have been watching the huge wildfire that has been occurring in Canada and has destroyed portions of the town of Fort McMurray.  For the last two or three years I have posted articles on the dangers of wildfires and on the whole feel that most people do not pay them any mind.  But I decided to do it this last time in the hopes that it may save someone’s life or home.

From the last news reports that I saw, this huge wildfire has forced the evacuation of over 80,000 people and destroyed by the latest count over 2400 homes. …

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How To Design A Home Evacuation Plan

This is a guest post that addresses a problem that I have seen during my years in fire and law enforcement.  You need an evacuation plan especially if you have young children and elderly or disabled people in your home.  I have personally seen instances of your children hiding in a closet from a fire and dieing there.  Also don’t forget to have a meeting place outside your home.


Whether you are preparing for the big one or the many small ones that may come before it, you need to have a well-designed home evacuation plan. When things start to go wrong in the place where you rest your head, you need to get out and be safe while doing so.…

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Fast Moving Wildfires Destroys Preppers Homes

fast moving wildfires

After TEOTWAWKI these fireman may not be there to help you.

I am sure by now you are all aware of the fast moving wildfires that are burning across Northern California. What you may not know is that quite a few preppers live in the areas that are burning. Many of these areas are quite remote and have been attractive areas for homesteading.  I know that many preppers live in these areas and with over five hundred homes burned down I am sure some preppers have been affected.

Having spent time in the fire service and having fought this type of fast moving wildfires, I can tell you that unless you have large fire breaks around your home you will not be able to defend it against this type of fire without fire department help.…

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Wildfire Protection and How it Effects you

Wildfire protection

The 49er fire in which 62 homes were destroyed

Well I am back on my soapbox again, every year about this time I write a post on wildfire protection.  Because I spent many in arson investigation, I have gotten to see more than my share of fires and the damage they can cause.  We all work hard for everything that we have.  It would be a shame to watch all that effort go up in flames because we are careless.

Here in California, we are in the middle of a drought and I know many other western states are also in similar circumstances. …

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Starting Campfires Safely, Without Starting a Wildland Fire


Don’t be responsible for one of these

Every summer we see major wildland fires that are started by campers.  Often these are people from the city with no experience in the backcountry.  They set up a ring of rocks like those that they see in the movies and light a campfire and let it burn out.  In the morning, they leave thinking the fire is extinguished.

The problem is that they don’t understand what duff is.  Duff is the layer of decomposing organic materials lying below the litter layer of freshly fallen twigs, needles, and leaves and immediately above the mineral soil. …

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Fire Protection for the Homestead.


A truck mount unit that can be used to put out fire.

Over the years I have often wrote about having fire extinguishers around the house and practicing good fire prevention.  Here is a post that was sent to me that gives some idea of how you can provide yourself fire protection and help your local volunteer fire department.  There are some good ideas in it.


We have a fire safety company in our town.  They have supplied us with old but still full fire extinguishers that were taken out of service, that would have otherwise been dismantled and thrown out.…

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Electric Panels and How to Turn Off the Power.

electric panel

A typical newer electric panel

It seems that whenever I talk to a group of people, I find someone who does not know how to turn of the electric panel to their house.  This is something that everyone should know how to do, even your older children.  In case of earthquake, storm damage, fire or even an accidental electrocution you may have to turn the power off.

Most homes today have circuit breakers which are a simple switch, it is just a matter of knowing where they are and which one to turn off.  Some of your older homes may still have screw type fuses, how ever they are fast disappearing.…

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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors after TEOTWAWKI

smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

A combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector

First, let me explain a little about my background.  I have served in both the fire service and law enforcement and am retired from them.  During my working life I have seen people die from lack of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

During cold periods I have helped carry out the bodies of people who died as a result of improvised heating systems.  Some died from carbon monoxide poisoning and some from smoke inhalation or burns.  The majority of these people could have survived if they had had a smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.…

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