Fire Rescue – May 2011

Firstly we would like to thank everyone for their kind donations to this year’s garage sale. It was an overwhelming success! Thanks for your attendance. We trust you found just what you needed this year and if not, wait till next year! What was not sold was donated to various organizations was recycled or was taken to the landfill.

Remember open burning ends May 15th. Open burning refers to hand-piled fires no higher than 1m and no wider than 2m. They should be comprised of “garden refuse” not construction material or household waste. Incinerators will still be permitted on Fridays and Saturdays but a permit (free) is required from the district office. Burn the incinerator hot to reduce smoke and burn as infrequently as possible out of respect for neighbours (clotheslines full of clothes, respiratory problems, houses full of smoke etc.).

We have had two structure fires in Lantzville recently in marijuana grow-ops. Be aware of your neighbours , unusual traffic or unusual smells. Report any suspicious activity to the police.

Also, be aware of how fast fires can spread in your home. Let’s pretend that it’s two o’clock in the morning. Your three young kids are sound asleep in their beds. It’s Friday night after a hard week’s work and you are exhausted. You’ve been in a much deserved deep sleep for three hours. Unbeknownst to you an electrical fault in your lamp plug has started a small fire in your living room.

Most fatal fires start at night and most victims are children and seniors. Luckily, for you and your family, you changed the batteries in your smoke alarm and thirty seconds after the fire starts your alarm sounds and you jolt upright in bed , awake, but dazed and confused. Ten seconds later you get out of bed. Those blasted alarms!

What you do in the next five minutes may change your life! You do not smell or see anything unusual so you head down the stairs to check further. The kitchen and family room are clear. You check the garage. Nothing there! As you approach the living room you smell smoke and as you round the corner you see the curtains catch fire and burst into flames.

It has been one minute and thirty seconds since the fire started. You panic and run back up the stairs screaming to wake up the kids and get your spouse to help vacate the house. Within seconds the living room becomes filled with smoke and the temperature at the ceiling reaches 500 degrees. Do you have an escape plan? Are there two exits from every room?

It’s been three and one half minutes since the fire started. The bedrooms are filling with smoke. Your spouse has taken two of the kids outside. You are in the bedroom with your baby but your route to the stairs is blocked by heavy poisonous smoke. You close the door, open the window and rig the escape ladder to the window. Four minutes after the fire started you are all safe outside the house. There is a large explosion in the house as the living room contents have heated sufficiently to cause a flashover sending a ball of fire up the stairs. Had you been there, your death would have been instantaneous. You meet your partner at your designated meeting point ensuring that everyone is safe and run to a neighbour’s to call 9-1-1. It has been five minutes since the fire started.

Shortly after, pagers are ringing at all the fire fighters’ homes and they wake up get dressed and are on the way to the firehall. The duty officer responds directly to the scene. Within seven minutes of being paged five firefighters are in the truck and are on their way. Three minutes later they arrive at your house, a full fifteen minutes after the fire started. If there were people inside they would be dead by now. All the firefighters can do put out the fire and attempt stop or minimize damage to other buildings. Think about how fast fire can change you life! Check your alarms! Have an escape plan!


Posted in Lantzville Fire Rescue, May 2011, Uncategorized

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