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Old 17th August 2012, 09:36   #31
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Yes, the fire brigade are one of the best in the Government trade, I salute them too. Their discipline and sincerity is something to be aspired for.
Very much off topic, but since you mentioned the fire brigade, I recalled an incident a few years back. A pair of crows had built a nest in a tree opposite our second floor window and both the husband/wife (or father/mother if you prefer) used to sit on our window grill, crowing for food. We used to feed them small tidbits, leftover fruits (mangoes, since it was summer). A few days later we could see the small hatchlings (?) in the nest crowing in their tiny voices. We watched the smaller ones grow into small crows and the day dawned for them to take their first flight. Unfortunately one of the smaller ones got its foot entangled in the wires and threads used to build the nest, and started dangling from the nest. All the time it kept crowing miserably and the mother and father kept flying back and forth from our window to the branch, as if expecting us to do something about it.

I finally grew restless and decided to call some animal welfare group. I found out the number of one from a friend and called them up, who in turn advised me to get in touch with the local fire brigade. So I called up the fire brigade and narrated them the situation. They assured me the crew would reach our place in fifteen minutes, since it was their change-over time. Sure in ten minutes the fire engine arrived.

The firemen were prompt, but rather ill-equipped to rescue the crow. Plus there was the lurking danger of the elder crows attacking them. The tree wasn't strong enough to climb up, and finally they used a long bamboo stick through our window to pull and push the branch in the hopes of rescuing the small one. The crow did get free, but for some reason it couldn't fly away (it had barely learnt how to!) and landed straight down in a water cooler. It didn't survive the fall.

I thanked them and asked if there would be any charges for calling them. The in charge told me they usually charge Rs. 100/- for such calls, but waived it off. They noted down my details in their diary and then left.
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Old 17th August 2012, 10:57   #32
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

Glad to hear you all got out safe GTO. I think fire in the house something we all take for granted, we try to take care of it ourselves most of the time.
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Old 17th August 2012, 12:50   #33
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

Burning Oil Fires: throwing water causes an explosion. It is the easiest way to turn a minor issue into a major disaster. I'm sure YouTube can oblige with impressive demonstrations.

Fire extinguishers and electricity: With domestic equipment and gadgets all over the house it is hard to be very far away from a live source of electricity. So, any specific recommendations for electric-safe extinguishers?
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Old 17th August 2012, 14:37   #34
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

Originally Posted by Arunshek View Post
I feel it should not be near a vulnerable place, as sometimes it might be difficult to reach the extinguisher if that area is already engulfed in fire. Yes, in kitchen some easily accessible place under the Sink will be a good option. otherwise I'll prefer it be in a drawing room/Bed room away from potential source of fire.
Basically depends upon the size of your house too. In small flats your dictum can hold good, but in big houses where your bedroom is on a different floor from your kitchen (like mine), it is advisable to fix the fire extinguisher just 'outside' your kitchen and in easy reach of all household members. Same hold good for the electrical panel/other potential fire hazard areas.
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Old 20th August 2012, 14:42   #35
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

Ever since I returned to India, I've been amazed at the total lack of basic safety, including fire safety.

- install (batt operated) fire alarms. Early detection greatly improves your chances of escape.
- have an evacuation plan from your home/ office. I employ 10s of people, and I take fire prevention and escape very seriously.
- have the relevant class of fire extinguishers in sufficient numbers at both the workplace and at home. Most fires are electrical related, and water isn't a good douser in this case.
- further to above, cut your mains supply asap
- walk around your workplace and home to identify fail points. Common ones are overloaded elec points, poor termination, poor contact plugs, elec patches when a proper job costs the same, etc. Appliances not turned off at source overnight, where possible, is just silly.
- ACs running too long is another source of failure. Most machines are not meant to run at that load for 20 hours in an Indian summer.
- smell for smoulder/ plastic fires. Very nasty, acrid and potentially lethal. Fix bad insulation.
- gas leaks are another potential fail point, especially at home. Run a long supply line to the burner and place the cylinder outside. Fail safe valves in the line are a good idea, the typical rubber hose that crumbles over time (especially if it develops a kink) is a bad idea.
- basic housekeeping to remove combustible material near fire sources is commonsensical. e.g. long curtains next to multiplugs with poor contacts is a recipe for disaster.
- frankly most places are just poorly wired, with no genuine safe design principles. An ELCB is thankfully common, but its real purpose is to minimise shock hazard, rather than overloads (which lead to fires). CBs (the other stuff that sits in your electrical panel) are frequently not properly rated. The common electrician who's called to fix the trip often suggests uprating the CBs, since he couldn't be bothered with finding the source of the overload. Fight his ignorance - it's your life!
- Buildings are usually shared with others, and fires rarely stop at your door. Check common areas for risk, and plan simple protection with neighbours. Security guards, common in many buildings, are usually a great source of potential fires (bidis and rubbish stuffed in stairwells being obvious risks).
- consider retrofitting buildings for evacuations/ fire escapes and using your overhead tank for large flow hoses.
- the usual killer in a fire isn't the fire itself, rather it is smoke. Keep low/ crawl (smoke rises), plug smoke entering into your safe spot using wet towels on door jambs, shatter external windows to air the space (punch out the glass with a well wrapped fist/ arm), wrap wet towels/ sheets around your head. You need to be alive till help arrives
- in an eventuality, be prepared to jump off balconies/ window ledges. A broken leg is preferred to death by asphyxiation
- if there are people on the ground helping you escape, get them to hold a large sheet/ carpet/ tarpaulin taut out at each corner and aim for the centre when you jump. If you have a baby, it's possibly best to let her drop on to this rather than hold her and jump
- store critical papers (property, etc) in a small fire rated safe
- oil fires (say on a pan) are not to be put out with water. If the amount of oil isn't very much, it's possibly best to let it burn off if you don't have a dry extinguisher
- you'll be surprised how much foam or dry chem is necessary to put out even a small fire. Don't kid yourself that a small handheld extinguisher can do the job
- as must be obvious by now, fires are best prevented, since they're usually really hard to put out. Pls do spend some time on basic fire prevention, paying particular attention to elec fires
- if you do get burnt (as opposed to asphyxiated), limiting tissue damage is key. Wash the affected area in plenty of ice cold (clean) water/ice. Ice packs/ frozen pea packets are great. Then wrap the area in clean/ sterile cloth and get to a hospital. Try your best to not allow infection, since you're now unfortunately at secondary risk
- I switch off mains power if I'm away for long. At my workplace, I have a drill to ensure power off overnight. I once sacked a guy for not following it, and it helped instil some discipline (although that's a losing battle). At home, I check that ACs and other appliances not in use are off at source overnight
- rail travel is also fraught with fire risk, and entire bogies go up in flames fanned by the strong draughts. Bad, bad fire hazards in trains, so that's a real nasty
- cars are safe, mostly, you just need to get out and let it burn from a distance
- fire insurance helps limit financial damage, but chances are one is left with many missing bits in one's life after a serious fire

Pls plan, execute and check/ re-check for prevention, preparedness and evacuation.

Be safe!
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Old 23rd August 2012, 01:17   #36
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You can buy ceasefire fire extinguishers online : Link
Buying the extinguishers is one thing and using them accordingly is another one. Like I said before, there are experts who are willing to impart knowledge and awareness for a small price. I attended one such awareness program organised by USHA. This could be useful for many individuals/companies/small offices.

>>Usha Training

This guy Jagadish Adapa is fantastic and very very well informed.

To know more about the lives of fire fighters, please watch Ladder 49, a very lovely movie.
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Old 30th August 2012, 17:33   #37
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Also, if possible try to go for some one day fire safety classes being organised by fire safety companies like USHA or Ceasefire etc. They help you in being better prepared and empower you to battle a fire in a very informed way. There are some wonderful people out there who teach you in such a way that you will never forget.
Firstly, thanking you for the advice of having extinguishers, I had asked usha and ceasefire for the prices. Turns out that ceasefire charges two times the price of usha, and gives three years warranty instead of two years on CO2 type, and five years warranty instead of one year warranty on dry powder type. Is ceasefire worth that much?
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Old 3rd September 2012, 00:14   #38
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

Originally Posted by redohabitat View Post
Firstly, thanking you for the advice of having extinguishers, I had asked usha and ceasefire for the prices. Turns out that ceasefire charges two times the price of usha, and gives three years warranty instead of two years on CO2 type, and five years warranty instead of one year warranty on dry powder type. Is ceasefire worth that much?

No, no brand is worth so much. USHA is quite a competent company and very reliable in their service too which is VERY important. Please do take their AMCs which is more important than just buying the extinguishers. Also make sure that when they take away your FE for maintenance,

1. Ask them to demonstrate with the ones that they take away, thereby ensuring that the contents are emptied.

2. Try it out yourself before you let them finish it off, after all you paid for it.
I am not in any way related to USHA, just my experience.
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Old 15th May 2013, 15:04   #39
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Default Re: What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE

I had an overload based minifire limited to my rotary phase changer in my house. On one particular phase there is a 2T ac and a 1.5T ac connected. We moved in recently to this house. I didnt realize this but apparently the load was too much for the Phase Changer and it got burnt as well as the wires connecting to it. It didnt break out into an actual full fledged fire, but the unit was fully blackened and frozen - unable to change phase.
The DB has MCBs well organized for 20A, 10A, 5A loads and distributed to 3 phase changers. The Phase Changers were rated at 40A. The one that got burnt, I replaced with a 63A one myself.
Due to this incident, am planning to connect 3 separate MCBs to each Phase changer, between the mains wire and the Phase Changer so that it detects excess current and trips off the power. Is this a right approach?
I was also looking at ELCB and RCCB, but not clear on how it will be connected etc. Researching.
I also plan to separate the load into a different Phase Changer for the 2 ACs so that some load balancing can be done.
Is there something else I should be doing? Please suggest!
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Old 3rd January 2016, 14:29   #40
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Exclamation Emergency Manoeuvre - Short circuite at Home!!!

Life is very uncertain and that is what makes it worth living. We all try and be careful & cautious so as to avoid any kind of accidents, but accidents are prone to happen. They just don't give up, they catch you off your guard one day or the other.

Today was such a day for me. I wanted to make the most of the last day of my long 3 days holidays. We had some guests at our home since last two days, and I came into my room after seeing them off, to get ready and get out of the house for some me time. That guy, up there had some different plans for me . The moment I switched on the geyser, I heard some sparking noise and saw smoke coming out of the switch board. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that I am in a middle of situation and I need to act fast. At the end, things are in control and I am sitting here on T-Bhp thanking my stars that I did not leave my home today in the morning(which was the original plan).

What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE-img_20160103_130444516.jpg
The burnt switchboard .

I am sharing the steps which I took to get things under control, for two reasons,

1. This knowledge might come handy if god forbid someone finds himself/herself in the similar situation.
2. Would like to know from the more experiences/knowledgeable folks if I could have done anything differently.

Tools used:
1. Tester
2. Electric tape
3. Plier
4. Rubber slippers
5. Torch(Sufficient light)

What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE-img_20160103_141444449.jpg

1. The moment I saw smoke coming out of the switchboard, I ran towards my MCB to switch off the electricity supply. (It is good to know and remember the location of MCB).

What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE-img_20160103_131535021.jpg
The left most big switch, is the main supply switch.

2. Once done, I ran back to the switch board and switched off all the switches. I did not do this earlier because I did not want to risk taking an electric shock.

3. I called up a professional electrician, who unfortunately was unavailable for the day. Meaning, either I live without the electricity till he comes and attends this or I find a work around. I chose the latter.

* Disclaimer - Please do not try this if you are very new to handling electric wiring and such stuff. This could be dangerous. It is okay to live without electricity till you find a professional to handle this.

Please note, all this while main electricity supply to the house was switched off and I also ensure to wear rubber slippers as soon as I could. Also, if you have kids at home either keep them out of the room or do not attempt this by yourself.

1. I opened up the switchboard to access the damaged area and to see if I can actually do something about it, I could see the melted wires which tells me that had I been a little lazy in switching off the main supply this thing would definitely have had caught fire.

What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE-img_20160103_131500337.jpg

2. The next thing I did was to sort out the wires, and to make sure that no two naked wires are touching each other. I also cut all the burnt wires.

3. I ensured that I wrap all the cut wires/naked wires using a lot of electric tape.

What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE-img_20160103_131508152.jpg
The wires, all wrapped up & sorted.

What to do if your House / Office catches FIRE-img_20160103_131514887.jpg
The debris.

4. I did not put the switchboard back in its place, I kept it open to ensure that I have clear view of its internals.

5. I was almost sure that I have wrapped the wires just fine and things should be fine now. I went back and switched on the MCB to check if there is still some smoke coming out of the switchboard or if there is any spark. There was none. (Please note, I have a clear view of this switchboard from the place where MCB is installed which would have helped me react real fast in case of a smoke/spark. If that is not the case with you, please ask some one else from the family to keep an eye on the switchboard and you can stay with MCB to switch it off once the other person shouts).

6. I plan to stay in the same room till I am home. I have kept the switchboard open too. I will switch off the MCB if at all I can not avoid going out for some reason.

The above work around has not repaired the wiring but this has helped me keep the electricity flowing to the rest of the house area. I will leave the repairing part for a professional since it is quite complicated and could prove fatal if attempted with half baked knowledge.

Mods: I am not very sure if this is the right place for this thread, please feel free to move.

Last edited by Engine_Roars : 3rd January 2016 at 14:46.
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