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Computer Fires

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  • #31
    Originally posted by ccvfd114
    mcaldwell how do you put you patch under your name
    i been trying for ever
    Open your edit profile screen, find the Avatar profile and instead of selecting the standard ones, choose add your own. Browse to locate it on your hard drive and select. It must be less than 50x50 pixles, so if yours doesn't work, you may have to resize it with Photoshop or something.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!



    • #32
      ok little off topic but how do i put my patch under my name
      i'm going to do some looking in to INERGEN


      • #33
        Oh ok, thank you guys for the response


        • #34
          Originally posted by ccvfd114
          ok little off topic but how do i put my patch under my name
          i'm going to do some looking in to INERGEN
          GO to Forum profile, the edit options, scroll down to AVATAR, click change, and thenm you can probly figure it out from there


          • #35
            Originally posted by Kvfcjr
            Oh ok, thank you guys for the response
            I don't remember you starting this thread. You can go ahead and add me to your list. You say your sorry on one thread and ten minutes later you're slammin on another. I would suggest you take some time off from whatever it is you do, go back to school and pay attention. As far as you being on or aspiring to be on a fire dept. somewhere, I can only say what I have said about some women I have known in my life "I'm glad you are not mine."
            Vintage Firefighter:
            "The older I get the braver I was!"


            • #36
              A computer that is on fire is most certainly not a loss. Don't just unplug it and ride in on a smooth bore.

              A computer burning is not necisarily going to cause the entire house to flash in 10 seconds. If it is just a computer sitting there burning, use the Halon or CO2. There is a chance the HDD can be pulled out later and the data salvaged. Also, you don't have water damage to anything else around it. Dry chemical agent will immidiately destroy anything that was left. This is VERY important in a computer room or computer lab setting. You fire off ONE dry chem to put out ONE flaming computer in the room, you probably just destroyed the rest of them by way of that wonderful power flying all over the room.

              Now, don't get me wrong, if the whole CPU case is a blaze, the HDD is toast. If the computer is part of a whole room & contents fire, do not sit there at the door with a CO2, it's a goner.
              Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.


              • #37
                Originally posted by leadlo
                I don't know about Canada but in the states halon production...
                Halons and CFC's were banned by the international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol in 1987. 168 countries agreed to the treaty. As of 1994 no more halons could be produced and as of 1996 most CFC's were to be phased out of production. (Halons are up to 16 times more damaging to the enviroment than other CFC's are)

                There are two types of halons used in fire extinguishers, 1211 (a fast vaporizing liquid used in handheld extinguishers) and 1301 (a gas used in fixed systems). Some extinguishers use a blend of these two agents. Halon extinguishes fire by breaking the chain reaction of fire (the same way dry chem puts out class B fires).

                In addition to use on aircraft and computers, Halon was popular with museums and art galleries as well as being ideal for use on fixed fire fighting equipment in confined spaces, such as on ships, or in underground pump rooms, where the entire room could be flooded with it.

                Halon left no residue, did not have the freezing effect of CO2, was 10 times more effective than CO2 systems per volume, and extinguishes fire 12 times faster than CO2. It is amoungst the "safest" extinguishing agents to use in occupied spaces (this is a relative term, as CO2, dry chem, and halon alternatives such as FM-200 are quite hazardous to people in the discharge zone).

                Halon is heavier than air and will settle into low spots displacing the air there. Caution should be used around large halon systems, including extensive ventilation and monitoring of halon levels in confinded spaces and low spots (such as the bilge of a ship).

                Handheld halon extinguishers are not generally considered hazardous (life hazard at concentrations of 6% or more, fire goes out at 3.5%) although if used on an extremely hot fire dangerous by products may be created (plus all the other nasty stuff an electrical fire makes)

                Other replacements for halon include FM-200, halotron, foam, and water mist systems.
                If you are new to posting please CLICK HERE for an essential lesson
                A bad day in the boat is better than a good day in the office. And in my case the office is a boat!

                IACOJ Fire Boat 1


                • #38

                  There is alot of bad information out threre about halon. The making on NEW halon was stopped, halon it's self was not banned in the USA. If you have a halon fire extinguisher you may keep it and even use it. If the cylinder has a current hydrostatic test date it may be refilled. If the cylinder is out of test it may be retested at an EPA approved facility (I work at one) and refilled. If the fire extinguisher is filled and out of test the cylinder MUST be retested. EPA regs state that the owner of halon must take steps to prevent the unattended discharge of halon into the air.. IE Testing and maint of the units. If you would like to have a NEW halon fire extinguisher they are selling them again. Most the bad information that is out there comes from crooks and theives. Fire extinguisher company XYZ does not have EPA appoved halon recovery machine and does not want to buy one SO they tell the fire department that halon is banned and sell them a new fire extinguisher. Then they take the old fire extinguisher and sell the halon for double profit. Fire departments are not the only ones that got robbed. The City of Philly had about $75,000 worth of halon stolden from them by the fire extinguisher vendor that serviced the city and they had to buy $120,000 worth of co2 extinguishers to replace them.


                  • #39
                    In most settings computers are disposable. The data are more valuable. (For the benefit of any nitpickers, yes I said data are - data is plural. Look it up!)

                    It has been my experience that most facilities that really rely on their computers (banks, billing offices, hospitals, etc.) also protect their computers with appropriate suppression systems. They also protect their data with remotely stored BACKUPS.

                    (Blessed are the pessimists for they hath made backups.)

                    Yes, killing the power turns your class C into a class A fire, so use whatever you need to to put out the fire, but do as little damage as possible. If you have one machine on fire in a bank of several computers, that dry chem dust can easily damage machines (and data) that would otherwise be unaffected.

                    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for


                    • #40
                      thanks for the help
                      Firefighter/ EMT-Basic
                      Proud Soldier in the Iowa Army National Guard
                      GLT 11/25/2005

                      All Gave Some
                      Some Gave All
                      Never Forget the Sacrifices Made

                      These are my opinions and not those of my dept.


                      • #41
                        Dust and residue from chemical extinguishers will do far more damage to a HD on a computer than water. The PC itself will most likely be usesless, although, I've never in 15 years seen anything other than the power supply burn on a PC, the HD is what people will care about as their data is there. As long as the power is disconnected, water will not damage the drive. They just need to be sure it is dry before trying to use it again. Electronics in PC's can get wet, as long as they are not powered, once they dry, they are fine.

                        As for larger computer systems, parts are parts, the protection systems are for the data as that is all that matters. The machines can be replaced, the data can't.
                        "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?


                        • #42
                          Class is in session

                          First let's clarify.Halon is not a class D extingusher.Class D fires are burning metals such as magnesium etc.Secondly if you remove the power from the computer fire equasion you are probably left with a Class B fire as there is very little if any ASH(Class A)material in said unit.There is PLASTIC(petroleum based product)making it a class B fire.Mow that being said, for a controllable computer fire I would choose Halon if available,sparingly use a CO2 if halon was not available.Looks like you jrs.had better go back and hit the books,you're not ready for your portable extingusher end test.T.C.


                          • #43
                            ...I've always had this theory...

                            Why don't we equip every department with a crane truck that has a HUGE glass dome. When you pull up to a fire, you just call in this crane and get them to place the HUGE dome over the entire house... eventually all the oxygen inside the dome will burn off, and the fire will go out! We could apply a similar ideology to our attack teams, and equip them with moderately sized glass domes.. You know, big enough for a sofa or dinning room table, etc. We could also have vehicle size glass domes for vehicle fires!

                            Think about the money the politicians will save!!

                            Then again, I also have this theory that we should be able to carry small explosives for fire fighting use. Got a room on fire? Toss in some explosives. The shock wave from the explosion will displace the air, thus putting the fire out!!

                            Think of the other jobs we could use explosives on!
                            Auto extrication:
                            Taking the roof off: Prima-cord around all the posts
                            Displace doors and push dashes: Nothing some explosives can't handle
                            If done correctly, the roof, or door, or whatever, will land outside the action circle
                            Extinguishing the fire: see above
                            Forcible entry: blow the door off its hinges
                            Ventilation: blow a hole in the roof
                            Overhaul: Use explosives to expose any hidden fires
                            Got a stuck elevator? Nothing a few pounds of explosives wont un-stick
                            Trench rescue? Make that trench into a nice hole with a gradual incline to the PT
                            Lets not forget the old "rescue the cat out of a tree call" (yeah, we've all probably had them at one point or another). Strap some C4 around the base of the tree and I guarantee the cat will come down.

                            Well, maybe we'll just stick to how we are doing things now
                            "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."


                            • #44
                              Halon and Halon replacements are preferred, for lack of residue & thermal affects.

                              CO2 is next. Large installations that don't use Halon-replacements will often use "warm CO2" systems to avoid the thermal shock issues.

                              Dry Chemical is frowned upon in computer rooms. It's not so much the grit & dust effect, but the fact that it's caustic dust. Combined with moisture from the air, it will have a corrosive effect on other pieces of electronic hardware it's settled in.

                              From a purely computer perspective, water is preferable to dry chemical.as it's not as likely to drift.

                              That said, there's a big, big "Watch Out" regarding water and data centers and firefighting. We tend to have lots of battery backup systems. Many of my servers have two power supplies, each fed by a seperate Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), each UPS fed by seperate circuits on seperate breaker panels. In at least one case, we have a single 220v UPS fed by two seperate circuits -- and each of those circuits in turn are fed by seperate Utility company feeds to our building. (We have three seperate power feeds from three seperate power grids coming into our facility!). Simply popping a circuit breaker is *not* going to eliminate or even reduce the danger of electrocution. My data center can stay running full bore for 15 minutes after a total power failure. If we shutdown the servers in advance, or even remotely, in response to a fire in the building, the UPS could store their deadly charge for days on end.

                              Top-of-the-line Data Centers are a bit easier to control, as they will have "room size" UPS systems that centralize power management. They also will have low flow/high pressure misting sprinkler systems to supplement Halon or Halon-replacement extinguisher systems. In case of fire, shutdown commands are issued, power is killed, Halon is deployed, and if the temp gets hot enough the sprinkler system kicks in...all automatically.

                              Proper recovery is also important. Although not a fire department issue, the company may want access to their hard drives within a few hours of the fire. Data recovery companies will take apart the hard drives, clean them with an ultrasonic bath in distilled water, dry them, and attempt to recover as much data as possible (and make a handsome profit doing so!)

                              Matt's totally un-warranteed advice with contaminated electronics, say you just sprayed you're motherboard with dry chemical:

                              -- Make sure power is good and off
                              -- Rinse well with water
                              -- Final bath/rinse with distilled water
                              -- Gently shake or blow dry off the heavy water
                              -- Put in oven @ 200 degrees farenheight for eight hours or so to drive the rest of the moisture out
                              -- Pray
                              -- Plug it all back together.
                              -- Watch to make sure it doesn't short and start a fire.
                              -- Remember, I'm not responsible if your dumb enough to start a fire trying to recover your electronics. But ovens at 200 degrees tend to work recovery wonders if applied *immediately* after getting things wet (pagers, cell phones, oil furnace motors) so the moisture is driven out before corrosion can occur.
                              IACOJ Canine Officer


                              • #45
                                To expound on "Data Centers" a bit, I have a hard time imagining a nastier place to go in a serious fire.

                                The ceilings are typical office dropped ceilings. Often with lots and lots of wires, often wire-tied together or held together in conduit. We even have armored fiberoptic cable. Ceiling fails, drops down, you're crawling through a rat's nest of cables that will get hung up on everything.

                                The floors are usually raised too! You'll be crawling on top of a big void filled with stuff like 220v outlets. The floor panels are usually pretty stable, but it would be nasty to pull one up just to find you had a smoke filled, oxygen deprieved, superheated environment right underneath you...can you say "go boom."

                                Provided neither the floor nor ceiling backdraft and entrap you in a tangle of wires, you crawl behind the racks...only to find still energized 110v and if really lucky 220v cords everywhere thanks to all the battery powered UPSs!
                                IACOJ Canine Officer


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