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Author Topic: Fire Drill  (Read 3310 times)
rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2009, 06:05:41 PM »

Great comments and questions.  I would like to try to address some of them

MCI Rick.  Re:  Bussin' 10 We have been asked to go again this year.  It is a huge expensive for us, but a ton of fun.  We have an Eagle rally we need to attend in Quartzsite shortly after the Florida rally (annual meeting both Pat and I are on the board).  Concerning Halon extinguishers.  Yes, they are still available from some racing suppliers.  Very expensive to buy and have to be shipped as Hazmat.  they are only good in a closed area.  You do not want to be around, as they displace the oxygen and give off a poisonous gas.  I think the surfactant extinguishers are just as good, still very clean and can be used on most any kind of fire.

1967-MCIa  I have long advocated interior systems for physically challenged folks who could not get out of a coach quickly.  Water would not be a good choice.  Too many things to go wrong, could freeze, etc.  I think the best approach is some form of my system with the dot tubing and special spray nozzles.  You could go full blown automated or a manual version.  Converning rear exit.  Might be OK for some folks, but getting out a rather small window (mine is 25 X 27) when you have some physical issues that come with health or age, can be a challenge.  My window is over 7 feet off the ground.  You might be able to act like Tarzan, but I know my wife with RA would have a terrible time.

Tim Strommen  The Swaims did install one of my systems on their new coach.  Both Karen and Diane advocate the "go bag"

ICENI John.  Yes, hose is a huge issue.  We have lots of them and you can't always tell when they are going to go. Some go from old age or fatigue failure (from cycling pressures).  Others go from being worn by rubbing on something.  I try to inspect my hoses, but I probably do not do a good job of it.

Hi YO Silver.  My Eagle also had a fire detection system.  I took my sensor off when I did some rewiring.  I can push the test button on the dash and it says it is working.  You might want to test your system out properly by setting it off in the engine compartment.

Tim Strommen again.  You mention two systems.  The first is an extinguisher with a temperature sensitive head.  If the bottle has good material that will do a fine job.  Problem is that it can put out the fire and you never know it (doesn't send an alarm).  Then when the problem that caused the fire crops up again (that hose that did not seal itself), you have a real problem.  The melting tubing system is extremely expensive.  The last I heard, they will not sell an off-the-shelf system only custom design $$$$

Someone mentioned fire safe.  Diane shows the contents of her fire safe after the fire.  Not one piece of paper was usable.  Jewelry was melted.  Her recommendation, if you use one, is to mount it on the bay floor which might give you some chance of the heat not destroying the contents.

Several comments have been made about the fast spread of an interior fire.  Make sure you have GOOD smoke detectors.  Try to install both photo and Ion detection systems.  They work differently and give you the best chance.

Lastly, everyone is addressing fires when you are there.  I am equally concerned about fire that occur when I am away (think auto-gen start).  Again, some sort of system should be considered.

Jim

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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2009, 07:29:29 PM »

You're right, Tim.  T'was that backspace key what got me!  I'll try again.  I did some work in industrial fire protection several years ago, and most of the same principles apply.  First, install smoke detectors.  Note that they lose reliability after about eight or ten years, so replace old ones.  Test them often.  Vacuum the dust from them occassionally.  When synthetic materials found in our buses burn, the toxic fumes can kill you before you awaken.  We're not talkin' weiner roast smoke here.

Secondly, have a plan.  Actually operate emergency exits to make sure everything works like it should.  Make sure every member of the family participates in the emergency planning.  Talk about it on a regular basis, until the kids eyes glaze over and they are really bored. lol

I like to keep some water in my fresh water tank all the time, with a hose attached to an outlet. 

Keep a number of high quality rechargeable extinguishers that have a gauge to indicate pressure.  I like big ones, with metal valve assemblies.  Thanks, Barn Owl. It's a good practice to invert them and tap them with a rubber mallet every six months or so.  That will keep the powder from packing. Check with a reputable shop, or look up the standards for suitable extinguishers and maintenance and inspection standards in the National Fire Protection Association standards that are available on line.  It's NFPA 10 if I remember correctly.  I hope RV Safetyman will help me brush up if I miss something here.  If you have to use an extinguisher, remember the term PASS.  It stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep.  Pull the locking pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handles, and sweep back and forth across the base of the fire.  Do this, of course, from a safe distance.  Ideally, you should ave a way out if you are going to attempt to extinguish a fire.  Obviously, the priority is to save lives first.  Worry about property later. 

Make it a practice to check exit paths before you go to bed.  Don't leave coolers, backpacks, shoes, chairs, or anything else in the way of exits.  Imagine having to leave in a hurry, without lights, in eye-stinging smoke.  If you do have to bail out of a bus full of smoke, keep low.  That's where the cleaner and cooler air is. 

When you make an inspection, consider not only how a fire could ignite, but what could go wrong that could let an incident become a major catastrophe.


Thanks for starting this important, potentially life saving thread.  I'm sure many of you can add a lot to this.  I hope none of us ever have to use it.

Dennis
           
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Blue Ridge Mountains of VA   Hi Yo Silver! MC9 Gone, not forgotten
MCI-RICK
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 09:15:22 PM »

I knew there would be guys out there with knowledge on this subject.  There's a lot of use info here.   

I should mention that Nick Badame posted "RV Fire Safety Guidelines" over at board help.  It's worth the read.

Thanks for all the input everyone!

Rick
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Aim high but look out below
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