Category Archives: Fire prevention

Hand Pump Fire Extinquishers

I have a list of items that I am always searching for, last week I found one.  It is a 2 ½ gallon hand operated fire extinguisher.  Back in the 60’s we used these all the time when I was on a big city fire department.  It was made by General Detroit Corp between 1942 and 1956.  They are all brass and copper.  This one was in good conditioned.

After I purchased it I took it home filled it with water and started to pump to my surprise it worked right away.  I thought I might have had to replace the gaskets in the pump.  …

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Campfires and Fire Safety after TEOTWAWKI

There are several simple rules that you need to follow in building a campfire.

Never build a campfire on forest liter or duff, this is plant debris such as pine needles and other decomposing plant remains on the forest floor.  Look for a site that is at least fifteen feet away from tent walls, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects.  Beware of low-hanging branches overhead.

Clear the ground of all flammable materials from an area at least 5 to 10 feet.  Scrape right down until you have bare earth.  Dig a shallow pit and start the fire in the pit.

If possible, build a ring of rocks around your fire. …

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How to Protect Yourself From Wildland Fires.

Every year about this time, I write an article on the dangers of Wildland fires.  My hope is that people pay attention to it and make their homes fire safe.  However, every year I then go to homes where I know the owners have read my posts and see that they have made no real effort to make them fire safe.  A common statement I hear is that the fire department says that I meet code.

That may be correct, in California that means you have a defensible space of 100 feet around your home.  A hundred feet sounds like a lot, but remember, that this distance is based on the fire department responding with fire trucks and planes. …

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Evacuations Because of Wildfire.

Leaving your home in an emergency is always a hard thing to do.  A lot of us have made plans and considered what we would take with us in case of TEOTWAWKI.  But in the last couple of days numerous families located not to far from me have had to leave because of a wildfire.

Now do you take the same things with you in this kind of scenario?  Me I have two lists.  I have good fire insurance on my belongings.  Many things including food can be rapidly replaced.  In an evacuation for a wildfire, there is a fair chance that I may return home and find everything intact. …

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The Dangers of Wildfires

As I hear about all the fires in the news, I am concern about how many people do not have a good understanding of the dangers of wildfire.  I have spent many years in the fire service and have fought Wildland fires.

I see people building retreats in remote areas without taking the terrain and fire load into consideration.  Houses build on ridgelines and hills need larger firebreaks surrounding them.  Remember heat rises and fires that are coming uphill will be faster and hotter.  This causes more preheating.  Current fire suppression methods have prevented fires in many areas for long periods of time. …

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The Uses of Road Flares

The other day I was talking to a friend about what to carry in your car and the subject of road flares came up.  He had none.  Now I know that most people only think of flares in relation to a traffic accident, but they do have other good uses.road flares

First, let’s discuss their designed use, for warnings others of accidents.  I recommend everyone carry several in their vehicle.  In case of a accident they should be placed in the road to warn others.

To determine the placement of the first flare, the one furthest from the vehicle, take the posted speed limit and  multiply by a factor of 4, at 30 miles per hour = 30 x 4 means your furthest flare should be 120 ft.…

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Smoke Detectors Save Lifes

A few nights ago a family I am familiar with lost their home to a fast burning attic fire.  They were able to escape smoke detectorwith their lives because smoke detectors woke them up.  Without smoke detectors, it is very possible that one or more of them might have died.

Smoke detectors work well and may very well save your life and home.  You can buy battery operated smoke detectors for between 10-30 dollars.

Smoke detectors come in several types, battery operated, hard wired to your electric system or a combination of both.   I recommend that you either have battery operated or hard wired with battery backup. …

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Emergency Response Guidebook

A book that you should have if you live near a railroad, major highway or industrial area is the Emergency Response Guidebook.  This is a guidebook for first responders in any type of hazardous materials incident.  The book provides the codes to read the diamond shaped plaques that are located on the sides of vehicles carrying hazardous or dangerous materials.

It helps you to identify the material and provides you with information on health hazards, dangers of fire and explosion and evacuations distances.  With this book and a pair of binoculars, you can stand off at a distance read the plaques and identify the hazards. …

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Fire Shelters can Save Your Life

From the discussions that I hear and the comments made on various websites, I know that many of you plan to avoid problems by going to bug out locations in the country.  One of my biggest concerns about this idea is that you will have many inexperienced people attempting this.  Being unfamiliar with the dangers of wildfire some of them will start wildfires.  Without fire suppression, these will spread rapidly.

There are actions that you can take to protect yourselves including firebreaks, choice of terrain, such as locating near water with good escape routes.  One thing you may want to consider is to have some US Forest Service fire shelters available. …

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Are You Ready for Winter?

The seasons are starting to change again.  The fall season and the thought of apples have me sniffing the air for cinnamon and spices.  I can think of all kinds of recipes for apples; canning, drying and freezing, cakes, cobblers and pies.  Even making chutney and minced meat, I haven’t made either for a long.

We went to a family gathering Saturday in Vacaville; on the drive there I was watching all the fields drying up and thinking another season is almost gone.  How many of us have taken advantage of all the fruits and vegetables summer had to offer?

Peaches and Pear: If you can or dry it’s a good time to buy, try going to some road side stands, they might give you lugs for a set price.  …

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