Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Second CERT Class


One time, when I worked at the little Italian restaurant, our big extinguisher exploded and coated EVERYTHING in the kitchen and food prep rooms in the white powder. The restaurant was closed for two days while the mess was cleaned. Those days happened to be days that I didn't have work. So I only heard about it. Before CERT, this was my only experience (if that can even count at all) with fire extinguishers. I was definitely excited for last night's class, for which we had been instructed to wear appropriate clothing, and bring eye protection and leather gloves for putting out fires.
I have been extremely busy over the past two weeks. Most days I'm getting 4-6 hours of sleep, because I've been working a lot of overtime. Jess and Mitch stopped by, and I asked them to pretty-please go purchase gloves for me. And they did, and it was funny because Jess brought the gloves back, and we looked at them, and I tried one on, and set it aside when I got a call for work. And then I picked up the gloves again after the call, to realize that even though Jess and I had really looked at the gloves, there were actually three instead of two! They were rubber banded together as a triplet instead of a pair. Excellent. I was extra prepared to put out fires, because if anything happened to my left glove I had a spare (I had one left? ha ha.).

And it ended up being all for nothing, because when we got to our class, the fire marshall started by telling us that the weather created a hazard and we would be unable to use the fire extinguishers today. Too bad.

He promised that we would definitely get to do the activity before our class finishes in March, though.

Here are some interesting things that I learned during my class, anyway:

- In fires, some hazardous materials deflagrate and some detonate. "It's not something we're going to sit around and figure it out," the fire marshall said. "Wow, is this going to deflagrate or detonate? One changes four zip codes, the other changes eight. " (He said that when he teaches police and fire people, he tells them one means you could possibly have an open casket funeral, and the other means they'll never find you.)

- It is unlawful to store more than 1 gallon of gasoline in an enclosed building. Sooo, even if you had a ton of money and wanted to be super emergency prepared, the most gas you can have in your garage in case of an emergency is 1 gallon.

- Pine and gas burn at the same heat - about 600 degrees.

- "Something about going into Meth labs... Tweakers are funny people. If it says 'go to Albertsons and get Red Devil Lye', will they go to Smiths? No way."

- Latex paint is a hazard when it's wet, but not when it's dry. So you can let it dry and then just throw it away with normal trash. With oil paint, you should paint a board and let it dry, repeatedly, and then just throw the board away with normal trash.

- Multi cord adapters are often illegal. ("You go to the discount store, get some multi-cord adapters in a bag, we call those 'fire in a bag.' Go somewhere nicer and it comes in a box, we call that 'fire in a box.'")

- 90% of all kitchen fires happen when the cook is away from the kitchen.

- NEVER pour flour on a fire. It is extremely flammable and will not put out the fire.

- When you walk into a building, know where the exits are. The closest exit is not always the one that you came in.

1 comment:

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