Firefighting

HOW TO AVOID REKINDLES

Issue 11 and Volume 153.

BY BILL GUSTIN There’s nothing like a rekindle to ruin a fire officer’s day. It’s more than the damaged pride or embarrassment. There can be liability implications as well. The officer who makes the final determination that a fire is completely extinguished and allows a family to reoccupy its home bears an enormous responsibility for that family’s safety. Redkindles can cause more damage than the initial fire because walls and ceilings may have been opened, exposing combustible structural members. Cellulose insulation is essentially ground-up newspaper. Although it is treated with fire-retardant chemicals, it can smolder and rekindle if firefighters fail to recognize it or if they underestimate its tendency to smolder. (Photo by author.) Click here to enlarge image Additionally, a rekindle in a concealed space, such as an attic, can gain considerable headway before firefighters are called back to the scene. Occupants may have smelled smoke but dismissed it…

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