Saturday, May 26, 2007

Revised Pan Fire Firefighting Instructions

Revised Pan Fire Firefighting Instructions

My sister read my blog entry about my kitchen fire and caught a bad blooper. She e-mailed me a correction, and her e-mail says, in part:

"Even in NZ with a stove, burning oil is not put in the oven – this would be a highly dangerous step as the oil is likely to splash back and could cause 3rd degree burns."

My own advice was to shove a burning pan in the oven and close the door on it, but evidently this was wrong. I hope I haven't killed or hospitalized too many people by posting bad advice online.

My sister also writes about a fire blanket and a fire extinguisher, as follows:

On the fire blanket:

"Please invest in what is called a fire blanket, or I will post you one, no problem. The parents and Alan and I have one by the stove ... they can be purchased in any hardware shop in NZ. They come in a bright red package and they are quite small in their packaged form ie its presence does not get in the way. If there is a fire the blanket is simply unwrapped and laid over the fire and of course deprives the fire of O2."

On the fire extinguisher:

"We also have a CO2 cylinder in our kitchen for attending to fires."

A fire blanket is now right at the top of my shopping list.

It's amazing how easy a fire can come out of nowhere and ambush you. This point was driven home to me just a couple of days ago when I was working at night in my personal room.

I wanted to have my desk (or, more exactly, the second-hand kitchen table which I use as a desk) free for work. My computer had some time-consuming housework to do, so I put it on the floor so it would be out of the way. Later in the night, I took off my jersey, finding it too warm, and casually dropped it on the floor, without bothering about where it fell.

When it came time to head to bed, I picked up the computer to put it on the table, and found that the top of the lower left of the computer was alarmingly hot.

I realized that the jersey which I had dropped had been covering the air intake, so the fan had not been able t cool the computer properly.

I don't think of my computer as being a fire hazard, but it is, and my good resolution is to be more careful in future about where I put it. And to be sure not to stack clothing on or by it.

And, while we're in the zone of good resolutions, given that I'm now fifty years of age, perhaps it's time I should start thinking really seriously of breaking myself of the habit of just dumping my clothes down on the floor at random.

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