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Old 11-11-2021, 10:44 PM   #1
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Fire drill failure

DW, off the top of her head said “I read most damage to motorhomes comes from fires.” I replied “ I believe that is possibly true. Come with me.”

I had her lie down on the coach’s bed and close her eyes… “Fire! Get out now!” I told her she has 20 seconds to get out of the motorhome… she didn’t know where the exit window was.
I showed her the window, how it opens, and where a stick was to prop it open. I also explained how to go feet first on her stomach which would get her out safely. So much better to sleep knowing this information than waking not knowing it.
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Old 11-11-2021, 11:24 PM   #2
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Everyone should know and practice this stuff. Also verify those escape windows operate easily as the seals tend to dry up and get stuck. Silicone lube keeps them working.
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Old 11-12-2021, 07:00 PM   #3
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A scratched up belly and twisted ankle trumps a charred carcass anytime.
Somewhere on irv2.com a guy explained-with pictures, how he designed and mounted an aluminum bar onto the window frame, to hold the escape window open while exiting.
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Old 11-12-2021, 07:11 PM   #4
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Would be nice to see that.
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Old 11-13-2021, 04:06 AM   #5
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Would be nice to see that.
I found the thread: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f59/made...op-551546.html
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Old 11-13-2021, 08:47 AM   #6
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Lets get real here, if the coach is on fire to the extent you can't get to the front door to exit the coach, you KNOCK THE DAM WINDOW OUT and get out! You don't waste any time trying to properly prop the window up to exit. A missing window won't devalue the coach any more than the fire for ins. purposes.

I think about getting through the window from time to time. It isn't all that big and getting some scratches on the way out is a fact. If I have to exit that way, the window will be gone. I would rather have a ladder (rope type) to hang down from the bottom of the window. That would be better than dropping to the ground. Getting out my window from the inside won't be easy, but some flames behind you will be an incentive.

EdD, what you really need to do is a full fire exit run, not just go look at the window. Our school fire drills was to go through the door (not look at it) and outside to a safe place with your feet on the ground. You need to do the same with the coach.
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Old 11-13-2021, 10:13 AM   #7
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Well, the 2 main sources of fire in an RV are refrigerator (Absorption, otherwise known as propane fridges) and engine fires (Prevelant in Pushers). We have mapped out escape routes for engine fires primarily as we replaced our refrigerator a few years ago with a residential unit.

We crack the emergency windows at least once a year to make sure they operate properly as many will be very difficult to open quickly if not used for a decade or more........much easier to do this when you are not dealing with an emergency
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Old 11-13-2021, 06:39 PM   #8
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Good for you in practicing fire drills and starting discussion.

Remember the purpose of working smoke detectors is to give you early warning, sometimes when there is just light hardly visible smoke. That translates into a minute or minutes to get out.

Once a fire starts it doubles in size every minute and the smoke generated will disorient and blind you. Without a working smoke detector, if a fire starts and releases smoke and fire gases and if you are able to wake up, one lungful will incapacitate you and prevent escape. (Most people cannot smell smoke while asleep).

It is all part of a fire safety package, prevention, notification and evacuation. And practice all three parts.
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Old 11-14-2021, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I thank you.
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Old 11-14-2021, 03:32 PM   #10
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Last year I looked over my (2) E-exits. The window is not hinged, it drops out. I think that is good and am glad I was holding onto it tightly when I opened it. More distressing to me is that the tiny window in the bedroom, although big enough to slide through, is mounted above a cabinet and below a TV, providing absolutely no supporting areas to help leverage the body of a mid-70 y.o. individual into a position to slide out. Nor is there room to place one of those E-ladders. I looked into mounting a handicap rail to help but I think it would just pull out of the thin veneer that is in the area. Funny how sales persons don't point out the E-exits. If they do you might realize how insufficient they are.

I think it would be faster to wrap a towel around my face and run to the door. And hope I can work the locks before passing out.
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Old 11-14-2021, 04:52 PM   #11
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The window is not hinged, it drops out.
Correcting my prior post. Both windows are indeed hinged.
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Old 11-14-2021, 06:00 PM   #12
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Escape!

Exiting the Discovery Emergency Window.

We tried to get out that “Emergency” window once in our last coach 18 years ago. We were a lot younger and definitely more limber back then. The following is my recollections of the mistakes I made.

Mistake #1: It would have made the Funniest Home Videos show for sure if Sharon would have let me submit it! After she agreed to try the escape for a safety lesson, to make it more realistic the first thing I did was to yell “FIRE! all “women and children first ….Hurry …Hurry …Hurry” trying to incite pressure as if it was a real emergency. She hopped up on the bed and opened the window and inserted the stick I had made that holds the window up. Then she flopped on her belly and tried to get her legs out by using her hands to push her backwards. To say that was funny is an understatement! She was on her belly moving backwards toward the window, the air mattress was moving around like waves in the ocean, pillows and blankets getting tangled up in her feet making her off center. She managed to get one leg out, but it was bent at an odd angle. As she tried to get the second leg out, she got hung up. One leg was in and one leg was out and she looked like she was doing the splits. Her pelvis was about halfway out of the window with the side opposite the butt resting directly on the window frame (boy that had to hurt, ya know?). "HELP" she pitifully cried. I yelled “hurry, the fire is getting closer”!

Mistake #2
I was laughing so hard I had a hard time seeing with the tears in my eyes. I ran outside and brought a step ladder to the window but since she was on her belly her leg wasn't pointing downward so she could stand on the ladder. It was sort of straight out of the window, like she was signaling for a left turn or something. "Put your leg down” I yelled. (Its funny, the knee doesn't bend in the correct direction when you are trying to exit a window while on your belly!)

Mistake #3: Obviously a ladder wasn't going to help much so I ran back inside and I started to pull her back in, only by then she was wiggling around so much she had knocked the window strut out causing the window to slammed closed on her butt trapping her on the window sill. She couldn’t go out, and she couldn’t come back in. By now her shouts of "help me" had drastically changed to yells of anger aimed at me! "Whose stupid idea was this anyway?" "Just wait till I get out of here!" "Stop laughing you dumb ass" and many more not appropriate for family entertainment.

Mistake #4
I told her to calm down. Don’t ever tell a hysterical crying woman to calm down! The results are not what you expect! By now her arms were tired and giving out causing her body to slump downward and making her one leg that was outside the window try and go upward, but the emergency window had slammed down making that impossible. Being an engineer, I knew the importance a good foundation was so I started to build one by stuffing pillows and blankets under her, her… well let's say trying to prop up her upper torso so she could rest a bit. In between screaming for help she said something to the effect of "don't get frisky on me now big guy". That is when I knew I had enough pillows stuffed under her upper half. Now that she could rest calmed down.

Mistake #5
I said "Ok let’s try this again". You would have thought she had been in the Navy the way the salty words came out! But I think the translation boiled down to "The He (double toothpicks) with this stupid idea and just get me out of this window YOU Made Me Get In", with emphasis only a woman can put on certain words. Of course, being a stupid male, I screwed up by trying to be technically correct and I said "ME? I made you do it?"

Mistake #6
After I got her out, and things calmed down she became less hysterical and more emotional when she saw I had been crying over concern for her safety. Being married for more than 4 decades taught me to never correct her and let slip that they were not tears of concern, but tears of laughing so hard at her trying to get her fat... um correction, I better say slightly larger than a teenager's butt out the window!

We left that experiment with the understanding that if we had to exit the motorhome in a hurry by using that darn small and too high window, that I was going out first, and fast as she would be pushing me. Then I was going to stand up, turn around and catch her as she slid out on her belly head first...and “watch where you put your hands this time bud”!!!! I don't think there is a snowballs chance in he "double toothpicks" that at our present age we will try that episode again. We have almost made it to the 5-decade mark of marriage and I sure don't want to screw up making it to the Golden Jubilee milestone by any silly suggestions about an emergency window ever again!

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Peter & Sharon Shaffer
W/ Mocha, Shadow, Hershey & Graham
2006 35H, 330 CAT C7
Kentucky
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Old 11-14-2021, 07:50 PM   #13
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Your entire story is exactly what I picture when I look at our window that is located over the stool in the rear bathroom. Your real life demonstration made all my points exactly.
And now you know why there are no U-tube demonstrations of how to use the escape window properly.
Loved your story
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Old 11-15-2021, 08:39 AM   #14
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I have considered this and after imagining trying to go out the window I bought a good fire extinguisher for the bedroom, flashlights on the night-stands and keep the batteries up to date and test the smoke alarms often. Our dog sleeps up front unless it is storming. I will fight the fire to the door with wife and exit with dog. That's our plan.
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