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Author Topic: Fire Safety ~ Revisited  (Read 2826 times)
Just Dallas
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« on: April 12, 2010, 03:34:45 PM »

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« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 02:33:29 AM by Now Just Dallas » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 04:00:46 PM »

Having the emergency door in the 4104 always gave me a little comfort in that area.  The MH we have now has pretty big windows with emergency latches in the bedroom.  It's a long way to the ground but beats the alternative.
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 04:21:48 PM »

I would like to see your numbers as i've torched some old cabinets in the past as well! This also tells me that we should ALL make sure our emergency release windows work! I'm with you guys it's a ways down but it's better then cooking!
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JackConrad
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 04:31:23 PM »

Good Afternoon all!

If it had happened while we were asleep, I wouldn't be typing this now.

That is why smoke detectors are so important.  Jack
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2010, 04:38:58 PM »

Dallas, thanks for the mention.  What you saw is the very thing that got me started in this business.  When I was gathering parts for the bus I visited a couple of RV Salvage yard and was amazed at the number of burned coaches.

We have a ton of toxic/flammable materials in our buses.  That coupled with the small volume makes for a bad situation.  We have a 3 liter Cold Fire extinguisher in the bedroom.  That has a very fine spray and I really believe we could get out with that extinguisher making a path for us.  We have a high quality smoke detector and I think in the small area, it would go off before the fire got totally involved.  More than likely, the fire will start in a smoldering mode before it erupts.  

Do not rely on the puny dry powder units!  They have very little suppression capability.

The material we use is the same stuff that NHRA funny cars use and those fires are beyond description.  Tremendous fire suppression and great cooling capability.

We have a customer that we met via the racing community.  He owned several funny cars over the years.  He knew that I had worked with NHRA on blower belts and looked us up at one of the FMCA Pomona events.  He is wheelchair bound and wanted our system installed in the interior of a new Foretravel he was having built.  We started working with the company, and then the economy took a dump.  The project is on hold.

The reason I bring that story up is that, while most of us are not wheelchair bound, many of us don't move as fast as we used to.  We also break bones a lot quicker when we jump out windows Embarrassed.

Jim
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 04:41:45 PM by rv_safetyman » Logged

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/
Dreamscape
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 04:48:00 PM »

Maybe you should have had a burning party at the rally! Grin

We don't have a very good fire extinquisher, which is not good. It looks like I need to get it in the budget quick, cause it's better than losing it all and maybe us too!

A good topic, and one that we all should be concerned with.

Jim, Do the box stores have good ext., or are they on the cheap side?

Paul
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 06:22:49 PM »

Paul, I check periodically, but the only thing I see are dry powder types (various sizes).  They make a terrible mess, don't have very good fire fighting power and can "cake up" from the bouncing in highway travel.  In addition they can result in sever corrosion - especially in electrical connections.  They are not allowed anywhere near an airplane hanger.

I have seen some spray can type "extinguishers" that are not dry powder, but I am not sure what they use.  I am pretty sure that NFPA does not recognize aerosol cans as "extinguishers".  The biggest issue is that they do not have a gauge to show that they have the correct stored pressure. Consumer's Reports just did a report on aerosol extinguisher - gave a "don't buy" (http://blogs.consumerreports.org/safety/2010/04/aerosol-fire-sprays-no-substitute-for-extinguishers.html).

I have not found a short cut to a good extinguisher.  At:  http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/Handheld%20Fire%20Extinguishers.htm , I describe a test I did at our local fire training center where I put out THREE large tire fires with one charge on a 2.5 gallon extinguisher.  That is the kind of fire fighting capability that the new materials have.  Indeed, many racing organizations now favor this new technology (see SFI 17.1).  NHRA funny cars use this technology exclusively.

The other good point about these types of extinguishers is that you can charge and maintain them yourself.

Sorry about the "commercial", but I really hate to see folks spend good money on terrible fire fighting options.

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 #7 on: April 12, 2010, 07:48:48 PM »

Thanks Jim, It sounds like you have the right product. I'll check here in Abilenel, if I can't find anything I'll get in touch.

Paul
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2010, 08:43:39 PM »

I don't know for sure, but my belief is the glue in the plywood is what makes it burns so hot.

More than 10 years back the Scoutmaster of the boy scout troop I work with decided to burn up a considerable stack of old patrol boxes in a campfire.  The resulting fire was so tall and intense that leaves on living trees above the fire pit burned off.  No grease.  just old dry plywood.  If the camp staff had seen the fire I'm sure they would not have been happy.  The staff is all for a good campfire to end the week, but not one with 20 foot high flames!

I have personally burned plywood scraps and they do make a heck of a fire.  Lots of fun if kept under control.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2010, 08:51:50 PM »

Jim, we will definitely be in touch to see what we can get in the new bus. Our other bus caught on fire right after we got it and started working on the road. At the time it happened, Ken was in the store working and me and my then 4 yr old grandson were in the bus in the bedroom taking a nap. I woke up and went up front to start supper and smelled something funny. I thought it was something outside. I finally went outside and walked around the bus looking and the side of the bus was going up in flames. I ran back in and got my grandson up, got the dog, and by the time we got out, it was full of smoke. We had fire alarms, but for some reason, they didn't go off until we went out of the bus. If I had slept 5 more minutes, who knows. To this day, I wont sleep with the bedroom door closed, and I always have that in the back of my mind. It would really give me peace of mind to know we had something that would at least let us get out, if God forbid, it should ever happen again. We do keep the regular fire extinguishers in the back, but, it doesn't sound like they would be much help. Dallas, thanks for reminding me how important this is to get.  Ruthi
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2010, 09:23:16 PM »

Hey Dallas,

Since you are renovating, maybe you could be a pioneer for non-flammable materials in construction.   Does Corian burn?  Stone counters, steel or aluminum cabinets, who knows what great materials are available these days to take the place of the kindling currently have.
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2010, 09:25:26 PM »

Ruthi - did you ever determine what caused the fire?
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2010, 11:36:42 PM »

Niles. Yes it was the gasoline generator that the bus had in it. It had vibrated and the gas was spraying all over. it could have been a lot worse. Not only was there gasoline, but the propane tank was right beside it. It burned the side of the bus, front driver side, and it burned the wiring harness. Had t replace a compartment door, windows, wiring harness, and of course the inside was a mess. It was in the shop for 6 months. At the time, we were also living in it, so it was quite an issue. I would never use a gas generator again.
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 05:46:01 AM »

When I worked in the telephone industry, any plywood we installed in an office had to be fire retardant.  I never payed much attention to it, the company shipped it in and that's what we used.  It looked like any other plywood except for stamps and labels.

I just looked at this website: http://www.firefree.com/movies.php?video=3.  Pretty impressive videos.  If I were building from scratch, I would look seriously at spray on fire retardants.
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2010, 11:30:23 AM »

Have been trying to figure out a less expensive way for bus folks to get a good fire extinguisher.  The 2.5 gallon extinguisher I sell is a water based unit with an aerating nozzle.  That is the best.

However, if you can find a used 2.5 gallon (or the less popular 1.5 gallon) extinguisher that is in good condition and holds pressure, you can make a darn good extinguisher.  All you would need to do is order the concentrate from me.  It will not have the aerating nozzle, but the standard nozzle will still do an acceptable job and it will be many times better than even a very large dry powder.

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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