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Fire preparation

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by bdcochran, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. bdcochran

    bdcochran

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    Jason10mm made a comment about fire. I will relate some of my experiences.

    In LA, we recently had a fire break out near the freeway at 10pm. 400 fire fighters. Helicopters. Conversely, in the last riot, I called in 3 fires in one city block and no responders would come.

    Our club's idyllic setting has been subject to two fires. The last one burned everything, including shipping containers, club house, benches, portable toilet within 15 minutes. The time before that, 3 fire trucks (the fire people were warned about the location) burned at the 100 yard line.

    40 years ago, my mother and I drove to an area where there had been a fire and she was contemplating buying a "new lot". Every house with a shake shingle roof was reduced to about two feet of gray ash. The houses with tile roofs still stood.

    A couple of years ago, a fire right next to the freeway in the San Fernando Valley wiped out 150 homes. Many of the homes simply exploded long before any actual ember landed on a roof.

    Look at the devastation of the Civil War or any war in photos -fire.

    What can you do. Assuming that water pressure would be still available, I put a manual sprinkler system on the roof of the house and the garage. The weeds on the hillside are destroyed before they reach any large size. The key rooms in the house have fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. I also replaced the shake shingle roof a couple of years earlier than necessary.

    My preps in that area are, of course, not as sexy as buying a bugout vehicle.
     
  2. sebecman

    sebecman

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    Wildfires. Reason number 267 why not to live in California.

    In my area wildfires just don't catch on, sure we have had a few brush fires here and there but they are just a puff of a match compared to what you guys have out there.
     

  3. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    At GlockTalk, don't we fight fires with guns? J/K.

    Just installed a second smoke detector and a CO detector in the home. Good for inside fires, won't help outside fires.

    In our AO, fires a big concern. (1) power goes down (2) water pumps stop (3) no way to stop fires, even if emg services aren't overwhelmed (which they will be). Possibly (4) the Santa Ana winds making everything worse.

    This is one reason I have a half dozen "bug out buckets" by the front door. Five minutes and we're out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  4. Warp

    Warp ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Tell me more about this.
     
  5. bdcochran

    bdcochran

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    Ok. The inspiration was as follows. I had seen a system on a house in a fire area. I then spoke to the Fire Department and I could not use the sprinkler detectors that are used in buildings as they are one use items and I wanted to test my system from time to time.

    I spoke to a security firm and was assured that a system could be set up as follows. You are away from home. A fire is reported in the area. You remotely turn on the system. However, when the time came, the security company pretended that it had never had said it could do this.

    So, I had to have a manual system. My handyman put an inverted sprinkler system along the ridgeline of the house. The water would spray down on the roof and then sheet as it went over the edge. Many fires come in under eaves or break glass windows. Sheeting absorbs heat. It protects the eves. I asked that the line be removable if some roofing needed to be done. The existing water line to the backyard on the house was tapped into with manual switch.

    Separately, a line was run under the backyard, under a sidewalk, and up the side of the garage. A separate handle was set up on that line.

    Both lines can work at the same time. I showed the system to neighbors next door and across the street. They have an interest in turning it on if shtf.
     
  6. Warp

    Warp ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Sounds very nice.
     
  7. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

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    BTDT,woke up with feet on fire,lost my arse.Me and the Timex,I'm still wearing made it out.Fire prep has changed,30ext per house.'08.
     
  8. quake

    quake Millennium Member

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    We don't install those, but it would be do-able, if somewhat cobbled. If your security system is a honeywell/ademco (also sometimes used by adt under ademco or some other name), they offer a Total Connect service that lets you communicate remotely with your security system over a smart phone or remote pc with internet connection. That's been around several years, but now honeywell also ties in with GE's "Z-wave" wireless protocol, so you can control a z-wave thermostat, light switch, etc from your phone. (Say you're coming back from out of town, it lets you call your system and turn your heat up or your a/c down before you get there. Convenience things like that, in addition to security functions.)

    I'd bet there's a way to control a relay with z-wave (or even the old X-10, honeywell/ademco has modules for that as well), which could activate a solenoid to start & stop waterflow. May not be an issue now if you're already set up, but if you want remote-activation capability - which would be a very good thing for this type of fire-protection system - it would be one way to do it.
     
  9. sebecman

    sebecman

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    Wouldn't the power likely be out if the fire was that close to your house? How does the pump run then/?
     
  10. bdcochran

    bdcochran

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    In response to the question - if the water pressure is not there, I have a problem. However, in my area, the water pressure has been there through earthquakes, fires, and riots.

    In listening to a retired fireman, he said that if you had the proper tool, a hose and were within 50 yards of a fire hydrant, there should be ample water pressure on the line. Not knowing the laws where a person may be who reads this, do your own local legal research about tapping into a local fire hydrant.:upeyes:
     
  11. quake

    quake Millennium Member

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    From the "Fire Extinguishers, etc" thread:
     
  12. random southpaw

    random southpaw

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    I just got back from a community meeting. One of the topics was the recent wildfire, here in Jefferson County, Colorado.

    Big news is the apparent failure of a reverse 911 call system to want homeowners to get out.

    The high winds caused that fire to move at a speed that covered 100 yards in 5 seconds (Yes, that is correct: 100 yards in 5 seconds). They found animals that died "frozen" in mid-stride.

    Although the State lit a "controlled burn" (which subsequently erupted into this wildfire) prior to the high winds, the State of Colorado has thus far said that it does not accept any responsibility for this wildfire.

    Sadly, most of the homeowners in the impacted area had only partial or no insurance. All of the destroyed homes are being considered as having asbestos in their construction. Therefore, the mitigation cost for each of the 30 destroyed homes will be $50,000.00.

    Then, action also need to be taken to reseed and utilize other methods to limit excess runoff from summer rains into the reservoirs and water supply.

    What a horrible mess.

    If you are moving to an area that has a reasonable chance of wildfires, please consider your options very carefully.
     
  13. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

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    Careful what you say man, our whole state has been at High and Extreme fire danger for almost a month now...

    But you are right (knocking on wood) we generally have avoided major fire problems around here.
     
  14. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

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    While there is no way to completely prevent your home from burning, fire resistant materials do cut down on the danger. Metal roofing can reduce the chance of errant embers catching your roof on fire. Concrete siding is available and while it isn't fire proof, it does help a bit. Also removing all vegetation (except a well watered lawn) from around your house for as far back as you is a big plus.

    Having a watering system is also a really good idea, but you shouldn't just rely on one thing.

    Nothing will completely eliminate the risk of fire, all you can do is play the percentages try to get as many factors in your favor as possible.
     
  15. jason10mm

    jason10mm NRA-GOA-TSRA

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    If one house is on fire, how far away does your house have to be to avoid catching as well? Can dry grass (given a fall farewell mowing) burn long/hot enough to be an issue? I don't really have any trees around my house other than a short stand of pine and a few dogwoods. About the only way fire is coming is if it comes across a field or starts in a nearby house (or mine).

    I've seen one housefire that happened when a punk kid flicked a cigarette butt into a bush next to the house. My sister had a house fire from a faulty electrical sytem. Even the stuff that didn't burn/melt was considered a loss due to exposure to all the nasty chemicals released during a house fire. So insure yourself, protect extreme valuables as much as possible, and know it can happen suddenly and unpredictably.

    Defensive landscaping may be the best option. How wide of a moat do I need? :)
     
  16. DrSticky

    DrSticky

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    I put one of these in the hallway leading to the garage. I like the explosive gas component too, because I have a gas drier and cars in the garage. FYI, all CO detector lose the ability to detect over time 2-7 years, and need to be replaced.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Kidde-KN-COEG-3-Nighthawk-Monoxide-Explosive/dp/B0002EVNJ6/ref=pd_cp_hi_3"]Amazon.com: Kidde KN-COEG-3 Nighthawk Plug-In Carbon Monoxide and Explosive Gas Alarm with Battery Backup: Home Improvement@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41f0Gxr-SBL.@@AMEPARAM@@41f0Gxr-SBL[/ame]

    We also worked on evac plans. Our home is single story, but because of the room placement if there is a fire in certain rooms we can not get to the kids. So we have a few plans based on fire location and other variables that involve running around the outside of the house and smashing windows.

    Our floor layout also causes issues with safe firing lanes too, but that is for another thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  17. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    My wife's family home (where she was living at the time) burned in 1990. It was one of many homes that burned that day. The fire was set by Fire Captain and Arson Investigator John Leonard Orr, aka the "Pillow Pyro." Orr was eventually found guilty of the death of four people, and is now serving a life sentence.

    [​IMG]

    Regards my wife's parents' house, the parents were at work, but came home when they saw the smoke in the sky. They arrived at the house maybe 1/2 hour before it was consumed. They managed to make one quick half-minute tour inside the house, but were so badly rattled by the approaching fire that they were virtually ineffective in rescuing anything important from the house. This was compounded by a volunteer fire crew.

    This volunteer fire group showed up outside as the "real" fire department was waiting several hills over (doing nothing but waiting) to protect the really expensive houses. The head of the volunteer group shouted at my wife's parents to get out of the house, and they sadly complied, for they lost 15-20 minutes of valuable time due to an excess of caution. Then, they watched the house burn to ashes.

    We've taken many precautions to prevent a repeat, but I think one of the more important ones is to have a stack of empty buckets with carefully ranked lists attached to them, of what to grab if we have only a few minutes. And we have drilled grabbing all the stuff we've listed in 5 minutes or less.

    It's important to have a list of what you need to get if you've only a few moments. And to be willing to defy any self-styled authority who's giving advice that's overly cautious.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  18. Warp

    Warp ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    We will certainly be updating our list(s) shortly. I realize the one I have is, for multiple reason, woefully inadequate. Thanks for sharing life lessons guys.

    On a related topic, I have 5 gallon gas cans. They are stored in the backyard in a rubbermaid outdoor storage container. We have virtually zero ground level enough for such an item other than relatively close to the house. How far away do you suppose 30-40 gallons of gasoline ought to be in order to reasonably believe it being set aflame would not catch to the house??
     
  19. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

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    That depends on if the cans explode or not.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
     
  20. Warp

    Warp ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    They will all be military fuel cans. Two NATO style metal, the rest Scepter. Supposedly the Scepter cans will burn in a fire but won't explode.

    I'm thinking that with the MFCs sealed up nicely + a little bit of ventilation/airflow for the container (built into it), the container closed, etc, the chances of ignition in the first place are very low.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012