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.
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 ...
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.