Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fire!


Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The number one disaster, that most preppers will face, is a fire, and my family and I had a chance to experience that disaster, this week.

Yep, we had a fire.

We were lucky; it was a barn fire.


The Facts

Fire is Fast
In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

From the time the neighbors alerted us to the fire, and we started getting water on the fire, with a garden hose. The fire had spread from a bale of straw, on the outside of the barn, into the barn's roof, and it was moving fast.


Fire is Dark
Fire produces gases that make you disoriented and drowsy.  Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three- to- one ratio

When I first saw the fire, I thought I could just grab the bale of straw and toss it to the side, away from the barn. I quickly realized that was a poor idea, so I decided to get a garden rake and pull the straw bale away.

I opened the door to the barn, and it was pitch black inside the barn.


Fire is Hot
Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames.  Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs.

After we, me and the neighbor, removed the bale of straw and was spraying down the fire; I went around the barn to check on the inside. Since I had learned that smoke rises, I knelt down as I opened the big sliding door. Smoke bellowed out of the door.

I saw some fire, so I went and got the garden hose. I crouched down, took a deep breath, and entered the barn. It was a small fire (it seemed that way) and started spraying. Quickly, it was very hot, so I run out of the barn, taking a shallow breath as I left.

My throat still hurts, a little.


The Mistakes

Failing to check the door - Firefighters teach to check any closed doors with the back of your hand before grabbing the door knob to open it. This technique tells you if there is a fire in that room, and it prevents the palm of your hand from being burnt.

Failing to call 911 immediately - The neighbors thought we could fight the fire by ourselves, so we didn't call the emergency telephone number until I asked if anyone had called 911.

Going back into the barn, three times - Yep, I went back into the barn three times. Once for tools, once to rescue the chickens, and once to open the other big door.

Once you leave a burning building, Stay out of the building!!!


The Damage

Outside of Barn


Inside the Barn
Roof Above Chicken Coop


Inside the Barn

On-Going Concerns

Crime Scene - There is a possibility that the fire was intentionality set, so the barn is a crime scene. To a certain extent, I have lost access to my tools, equipment, and stored building material because we are waiting for the detectives to contact us.

Insurance - We contacted the insurance company right after the fire. We have insurance for the barn and any tools but not the chickens : - (


Lessons I'm Learning

One lesson I'm learning. Fires are a pain in the *ss. A fire will disrupt you and your family's life. My wife is p*ssed because it might be arson. The children are sad because most of the chickens are dead, and I have to start the insurance process.

Another lesson, I'm learning. Insurance companies are slow, and I'm going to do most of the work. I make the inventory. I get the estimate. I contact three repair crews. I ...

OK. That was a pity party, but you get the point. It's your stuff; you will have to deal with it.


Thanks in Advance
Folks, I appreciate all of the good thoughts and prayers you and your family will be sending our way over the next few weeks.

But,

I need for y'all to do something for me, today.

Smoke Detectors
I need for you to check your smoke detectors. If you don't have any, buy at least one (install the smoke detector by the bedrooms) and install it, today. If you didn't changed the batteries on the switch to Daylight Savings Time, you need to change them, today.

Evacuation Plan
Tonight, I need for you to talk with your family about evacuating the house and practice the plan, tonight.

Lastly,
Keep prepping.

Links:
City of Camden, NJ - Fire Safety and Fire Prevention Tips
http://www.ci.camden.nj.us/departments/Fire%20Prevention%20Tips.pdf

WikiHow - How to Keep Safe During a House Fire
http://www.wikihow.com/Keep-Safe-During-a-House-Fire

1 comment:

ladyhawthorne said...

This is so very sad but I am glad you are all ok except the chickens.
Thank you for reminding me to change the batteries!