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Old 07-30-2014, 09:48 AM   #1
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Fire in S&B - Here's what I learned, and how it applies to my RV

KITCHEN FIRE, right on - my favorite.

I'll keep the story brief. Using an old (and I mean like great grandmother old) baking pan to warm up an already cooked chicken. What we didn't know is that the pan had a pin hole leak in the side.

Juices got hot, came through the small hole, bottom of oven, and you know the saying - where there's smoke, there's fire.

Andrea and I were just in the other room -- smelled a little burny??? "Hmm we should maybe check that"

2 seconds later - small smoke alarm
2 seconds later - BIG ADT smoke alarm

Up and at em! Andrea to the kitchen - me to the alarm control panel in the laundry room to shut off the alarm AND grab the fire extinguisher I keep in that room. Alarm off, don't immediately see fire extinguisher - 10 seconds second has passed in that time.

I know there's another extinguisher I keep next to the bed, not going to waste time finding the one in the laundry, just in case - no one has said FIRE yet.

On the way out of the laundry, I realize the lower floor of the house is filling with smoke quickly, I peek into the kitchen, which is on the way to the bedroom, and smoke is BILLOWING out violently from the oven filling the kitchen. Andrea has shut the oven off, turned off the stove, opening the windows, oven is closed.

I ask (on my way hurriedly into the bedroom "Is there a fire?"
"No" she replies. But she looks again cause ya know.. maybe ...
"YES"
I'm already on my way, I'm grabbing the extinguisher anyhow - it's right at my night stand, where it's stood guard for 7 years, exactly where it's supposed to be!

Pin pulled, into the kitchen, open the door, BIG FIRE inside oven , as big as the oven would hold, push the FE handle. The fire is out in under 2 seconds (wow, that was amazing I thought) - BUT the extinguisher won't stop just cause you let off the handle, and it will continue for another 13 to 14 seconds.

Here's what I learned that would be especially important in 460 square feet! Particularly for those of you that have never fired off a fire extinguisher.

Number 1 - The fire extinguisher [FE] WON't stop just because you let off the handle. It will keep going til empty.

Number 2 - The powder that comes out of the FE WILL fill the entire area, floor to ceiling.

Number 3 - You will not, cannot breathe in the area of the FE cloud, it's got no place to go. The downstairs of my house is 1800 square feet, and I could not see my front door from my back door - and this whole event took 30 to 45 seconds. Even attempting to re-enter the house just to open a window was nearly impossible.

Number 4 - The FE dust settles on EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE. The entire first floor of my house is literally covered with a layer of yellow dust.

So here's my lessons learned.

Put your FE's in a visible location, and leave them there. Don't move them, don't put them behind stuff. Know exactly where they are, and practice how you might use one in your mind. If they are held in a clippy thingy, both you and your wife/husband need to try to get that thing off the wall in 2 seconds. Actually try it, why not?

I used a regular sized FE - in hindsight, I small one would have worked, and not made such a mess.

You need an FE at each end of your bus. One up front, one in the back. I installed a small one to the wood base of my bed right where I get out of bed. and another in the basement (in addition to the one already up front)

If a fire starts in your bus, you better plan your escape route FIRST - before setting off the FE. Are you going out the front door? Or are you going out the emergency window? Practice this is a couple and talk about it. One of you should be the designated FE getter, and the other should be the designated door unlocker, opener, pet getter, or emergency window opener. You'll be 100% under pressure. My large kitchen filled with smoke in 12 seconds, could barely see in 30 seconds. A bus would be even more confining on the smoke produced.

Verify the door is ready to open prior to hitting the handle on the FE - a quick verbal question will do "Door Ready?" reply "YES"

Hit the handle, hit the fire, see fire go out, leave immediately. The FE cloud is going to force you out regardless, so just be prepared for it. Don't trip! Don't fall down the stairs! Be a team and help each other out quickly. If you have mobility issues, talk with one another about how this might look on the way out.

I could not imagine the horror of setting off a FE inside my bus, only to the find the front door double locked with two people trying to get out of it at the same time.

If there is a fire at night, and you are asleep - one person is the designated "get the FE person and assess", the other needs to be immediately working on that emergency window. In my bus, the blinds at the emergency window are very very difficult to open (i mean very, 2 people required) - I've thought about it before, and I prefer to sleep with them up for this very reason, but I will be removing them entirely the next time I step into my bus. we'll run a curtain rod in the valence instead or something easy to get through. Be prepared to go through that window in a HURRY. I've seen videos of people slowly practicing getting out of that window - uh uh, you're gonna come crashing out of that thing if you set off that FE indoors. Be prepared. Person, dog dog, person.

I, in my Action mode, ran the still running FE through the living room and out to the back yard (in the 12 seconds it continued blasting) - in hindsight I might have tossed it into the oven and shut the door, leaving it to empty itself in there, instead of all over my house (maybe) In a bus, I might just leave it where ever I dropped it - everything inside is going to be trashed anyway from even a small fire so it won't matter. If you are in evacuation mode, don't worry about getting the FE outside unless you have a pet trapped on the other side or something. In that case i might toss it out the door and get my pet.

This is something you should discuss, think about, run through you mind for a second. This is my third fire of all time, and I felt very prepared, remained calm, handled the situation quickly, but this was the first time I had ever used a FE. (first fire I didn't have one - used water - that's why I have 3 ((strike that, 2 )) FE's in my home today)

Second fire was a grill fire,which burned itself out but I had the FE on the ready - ruined the grill but no harm done.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:10 AM   #2
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Jay and Andrea, Glad you're safe, sorry you have that big mess to clean-up. You make some very good points in your post. Like the Boy Scout Motto Be Prepared!!

Remember too, that while we love our furry friends the most important thing is to save YOU FIRST in a fire.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:22 AM   #3
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I also carry a Co2 FE. It is good for most fires and does not leave a mess like powder ones.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:23 AM   #4
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Glad you are all ok. Thank you for sharing your experience. Insurance will take care of the rest.


There's nothing like been-there-done-that to put into perspective having a plan & escape route in the event of fire...no matter whether you are in your S&B home or in your RV. Having been to more than half a dozen presentations by Mac the Fire Guy, being prepared with the proper detectors, FE's (if you have the time & are able to fight a fire) & a practiced escape plan WILL help you remain calm & save lives.

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How is it one careless match can start a forest fire but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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My bedroom fire escape window in the very back of the coach is at least 6' off the ground. I camp solo most of the time. How would I get the pups out that window, or myself for that matter....I have no idea. I need some kind of a deployable chute or something.

I could get out and put my feet on the rear bumper, but the pups are another story.

I'll begin investigating that.

Thanks so much for the post.

Something I hadn't thought about enough until you describe it in real world experience. Scary to say the least.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnboy2 View Post
My bedroom fire escape window in the very back of the coach is at least 6' off the ground. I camp solo most of the time. How would I get the pups out that window, or myself for that matter....I have no idea. I need some kind of a deployable chute or something.
Just a thought...if you google "escape ladder" you will find many options available. Most are designed to hang over the window sill which should work. Biggest problem I see is to make my body contort through that window.

Another device might be a fire blanket that you can wrap yourself in to move through the fire and out the front door.

Or maybe both??
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:51 AM   #7
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One thing for sure, I'm getting an extinguisher to put beside the bed.

AMEN.

And I like the blanket idea.

I lived in an attic bedroom at home growing up, we had a ladder that I could throw out the window and climb down. I have seen them too.

I too would have trouble getting out that window opening, but I believe it can be done, I crawled through that little shower door opening the first 3 years I had the coach LOL before I took that all out this past year.

Hey, if the mattress was smaller, you could throw it out the window. Well maybe you could throw out the comforters and blankets but that doesn't mean the pups would not hurt themselves being tossed out like change.....

That's scary.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:53 AM   #8
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Fire Gone 16 oz. A:B:C Multiple Use Fire Suppressant-fg-007-102 at The Home Depot

Anybody have any comments on these?
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lincolnboy2 View Post
THAT looks very smart, and I will be buying a few of these today when i make my home depot run!
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:00 AM   #10
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Understood on the window height too! I think the only thing you can do is drop the dogs down (if you have the time anyhow) and hope for the best I suppose? Totally scary thought the whole thing is.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:05 AM   #11
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But

What happened to the chicken ???

Good post Jay. I am buying 2 more extinguishers before our trip this weekend.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:07 AM   #12
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It is.

I need a laser gun to just laser out the end of the coach so we can slide down that to the ground. LOL Like a toy hauler, just drop that end of the coach.

Something like this.....

http://www.escape-chute-systems.com/...ommercial.html

Here is something, as long as it were immediately available to deploy right there at the door......you couldn't put it under the bed, but maybe you could, and get to it quickly,...... hmmm..

http://www.amazon.com/Surco-506B-Bun...6736701&sr=1-4

Here's something even better. It could be mounted in the bag right next to the window...this is what we had when I was growing up. Way too long, but you could theoretically put a harness on the pups and lower each one down, but, no that would take too long... :(

http://www.amazon.com/First-Alert-EL...6736701&sr=1-2
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:17 AM   #13
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that chute looks amazing!
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:00 PM   #14
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Do Not Become a Part of the Problem!

You had a fire in the oven, but the "oven was not on fire". Ovens are designed to hold in heat and if needed, fire. Once the smoke started pouring out, the damage was already done, and insurance will repair that. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and you are correct in your search for what to do the next time an emergency situation arises. There would have been nothing wrong with simply turning the oven off, then getting everybody out (pets too!), and finally calling 911. Leave all doors and windows closed along the way out. Once out, STAY OUT. My experience has been that many people try to extinguish a grease fire with water, which usually causes the fire to spread rapidly and quite possibly burn them, too. Try to remember that baking soda is a good extinguishing agent, and that flour is not! But, by placing a lid onto the pan that has the grease fire will usually extinguish it by eliminating the oxygen source, which would be the same as leaving the oven door closed. However, in an emergency situation, the adrenaline is flowing, and it is very easy to forget everything and simply make a mistake that can cause serious injury. In your case, nobody got burned, nobody suffered smoke inhalation, and hopefully nobody will have any long-term problems from breathing the extinguisher agent. Contact your local fire department and find out what programs are available to you at no charge. Most have free safety programs and LOVE talking about fire safety to the folks that pay their wages. Some have smoke trailers that use fake smoke, allowing you to see what it is like to be trapped in smoke, in the dark. Most fire departments will even visit your home and give tips on how to handle situations like the one you just experienced. Ask them ANY questions, and discuss ALL concerns you may have, such as the ones being listed on this thread. I admire you for sharing this information, you will provide invaluable information, and hopefully give others the urge to plan for their "future" emergencies. Great job! Remember, smoke goes up, so your nose goes down. Bruce
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