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Wiser after the fact: preventative time saving precautions

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  • Wiser after the fact: preventative time saving precautions

    As a recent victim of arson it seems, I, along with several others, found out how unmerciful fire can be with anything in its path. Determined and hopefully wiser now to be more prepared to avoid a repeat of the event, I plan to take fire specific precautions under more controlled conditions in my own home.


    First I must point out that I do not have a large budget, but would like to know how to best give myself enough time and warning, even with the most thoughtful of preventative measures, in the event of a possible house fire, no matter how it starts?

    To my mind there are two scenarios that I can think of: the first is a usual house fire i.e. living space, the second, a dedicated area where items are stored in a compartmentalised fashion.



    It is this second scenario that I would like to explore ideas on how to best protect possessions:
    1. The main and obvious reason for fire was the time that it had to spread to the point that it could not be controlled. That time lost was the fault of an unobservant system in place. I imagine the sooner a fire is caught the better, which calls for sensors beyond the traditional smoke detector, with the ability to be alerted on a smart phone which should be about my persons anywhere I go.
    1. Preventative measures seem an obvious first option, but if it?s arson then I am not sure it should be at the top of my list, more knowing the even is unfolding in real-time than to prevent something that is going to happen anyway. However, I was told by a fireman that the only way to stop fire is water, specifically fine water mist. As stored items are left compartmentalised i.e. inside containers, they could be air tight and made from plastic, this then allowing them to be left in pools of standing water, with a sprinkler system installed above, attacking the problem from all immediate external threats.
    1. Visually monitoring the area with remote CCTV, I wonder if this would be useful or not?
    1. Aside from a heavy safe, are there containers that are reliably fire retardant, or measures of converting containers to be so, in order to buy more time? I understand that no material aside from bricks are fire resistant, not in a fire reaching thousands of degrees as the one my items had been subjected to. Is there a storage medium of choice for best slowing down fire that is reasonably attainable and affordable?
    1. My preferred option of removing all oxygen from a room is likely unfeasible as Halon is not permitted any more, while CO2 would be lost into the atmosphere as sealing a room from oxygen would be too expensive. Further, the oxygen would only rush in once the door was opened, yet I would like to know what options there are in this regard?
    1. If installing a sprinkler system, how long does it last for, will it run out? I am aware that water damage is similarly as destructive as fire and would like to know if an aggressive misting system exists in place of a sprinkler system, and what the likely tradeoffs are?





    Fire is a terrible thing, I know that I cannot be outsmarted, but I can surely slow it down until a time that aid could be in place to stop it.



    Many thanks for your help.

  • #2
    residential sprinklers tied into an alarm of your choosing --- or fireaide and a garden hose
    ?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd respond to your item numbers, but they're all "1".

      As SJY points out, sprinklers. If you're on a municipal water system, they'll run until compromised or turned off. If you're on a well, it'll depend on the capabilities of your water system. Under normal circumstances, odds are the fire will be mitigated before you run out of water. Some sprinkler heads shut off when they no longer sense the heat.

      As for protecting items, you could take the tornado shelter approach and build a sturdy closet (ie, masonry) within your house. Add a fire-rated door, and don't forget to make the ceiling fire-resistant as well, and you've got a small vault. If the rest of the house is protected by sprinklers, fire probably won't be a factor for that room.

      Code in most places is for double sheet rock as a firewall, say for a garage. If you didn't want to go the masonry wall route, simply build the closet with double sheet rock, maybe even inside and out. Again, sprinklers will help prevent a fire from reaching a point where this would fail.

      CCTV would only be useful if someone were watching it 24/7, or for evidence, if the video is recorded and that recording is protected.

      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Many thanks for your reply, sorry for the formatting, I believe somebody else left a post about that somewhere.

        In you experience, what is the result of water damage? It seems to me that it could be, in certain circumstances, comparable to fire. Are there degrees of which the sprinkler can operate so that perhaps a fine mist is created over a tropical like storm?

        While water can be pumped in and as you said, connected to the municipal system, what of a CO2 system, would that work, or is it just for business?

        Many thanks once again.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you are talking about a house

          Install a fire sprinkler system

          This will not help if the fire starts outside.

          Other than that, yes get a fire safe, Keep important papers in a bank safety deposit box.

          With modern tech, digital photo the entire house, scan any paper work you may need after a fire, such as insurance papers, put those on a thumb drive and stick in same safety deposit box

          Update once a year.

          This is for accidental and arson or any fire.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by otiplec View Post
            Many thanks for your reply, sorry for the formatting, I believe somebody else left a post about that somewhere.

            In you experience, what is the result of water damage? It seems to me that it could be, in certain circumstances, comparable to fire. Are there degrees of which the sprinkler can operate so that perhaps a fine mist is created over a tropical like storm?

            While water can be pumped in and as you said, connected to the municipal system, what of a CO2 system, would that work, or is it just for business?

            Many thanks once again.
            only the sprinkler heads in the affected room go off -with an alarm help to shut the system off should arrive before your house floats away. I have seen a lot of stuff dry out -never saw anything un burn.
            ?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by slackjawedyokel View Post

              only the sprinkler heads in the affected room go off -with an alarm help to shut the system off should arrive before your house floats away. I have seen a lot of stuff dry out -never saw anything un burn.
              Gotta admit I'm not up on the tech of residential sprinklers, but I recall reading that there are some that shut themselves back off once they get below the trigger temperature - not sure if that's the case or not.

              The metal used was "nitinol." Interesting stuff - apparently you could form it, then bend it, and when it got to the rated temperature, it would return to the original form, which in the case of sprinklers, would open them and allow the water to flow. When the temps dropped, it would return to it's "bent" shape, closing the sprinkler.
              Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

              Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

              Comment

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