fire department

Good Idea, Bad Idea

Last week Peace River Firefighters responded to a call at a house fire on River Road. The fire was quickly brought under control due to the quick and professional response of the Peace River Fire Department.  While the call was one of many the fire department will respond to this year there were some valuable teachable moments that arose.

Good Idea – Close doors in your house to reduce the spread of a fire.

The fire on River Road could have been much worse if not for the quick thinking and quick actions of the home’s resident. The fire started in a bedroom in the basement, after noticing the fire the resident quickly shut the door. This seemingly small action had a massive impact that helped limit the spread of the fire by creating a physical barrier to fire spread and also reducing the amount of oxygen.

To improve fire safety in your home the Peace River Fire Department recommends a few steps be taken:

  • Keep doors to rooms shut whenever possible;
  • If you have a smoke detector in your bedroom that is interconnected to other smoke detectors in the house, then sleep with your bedroom door closed;
  • If the smoke detector is located in the hallway outside the bedroom, keep the door open so you can hear it but if a fire starts, close the door;
  • Consider investing in interconnected smoke detectors, that way if one goes off, they all will.

Bad Idea – Driving over fire hoses at a fire scene.

While the story of shutting the door on the fire is a story of what to do the following is a story of what not to do.

While responding to the River Road fire a section of the street was closed for approximately two hours. During that time a vehicle drove over a fire hose that was full of water. This is illegal (Bylaw 1746) and extremely ill-advised.

Fire hoses are expensive, and they are tools that need to work. Due to the vehicle driving over the hose the equipment will need to be thoroughly checked, it might need to be removed from service and replaced with a new one. These things cost money.

There is also a huge safety risk. When firefighters enter a burning building the best weapon they bring is a hose filled with large volumes of water under high pressure. They rely on that. When someone drives over a charged hose it could cause it to burst, if that happened firefighters would be in the burning building without water placing them in an extremely hazardous situation. This would also impede firefighting efforts as firefighters would have to leave the building to get a new hose hooked up.

If you approach an emergency scene and there are hoses across the road do not drive over them. Doing so will cost your local fire department time and money and you may cost someone their life.

The video below from a news station in Alabama shows the potential consequences of driving over a hose at a fire scene.