Firefighting

Responding to Oil Burner Emergencies

Issue 8 and Volume 153.

By Frank C. Montagna The approaching heating season will bring with it increased responses to heating emergencies. These emergencies are often the result of a malfunctioning oil burner. Conditions you usually find on arrival-smoke pouring from a basement or cellar-indicate a malfunctioning heating system. TYPES OF EMERGENCIES Puff back/delayed ignition. There are several types of oil burner emergencies to which you may respond. One common type is the puff back or delayed ignition. This occurs when atomized oil is delivered to the combustion chamber but is not immediately ignited. When it finally ignites, an explosion in the firebox takes place ranging from a small thud accompanied by a puff of smoke to a blast that blows the firebox door open and sends a jet of flame across the room. The blast can also knock the flue pipe down. Once the burner door is opened or the flue pipe is down,…

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