Become A Fireman

Fire Investigation

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Firefighter Jobs

After the firefighters job is complete, and they have finished extinguishing the fire, the fire investigation team begins their work. Their job is to find evidence that will tell them how the fire started, and where it started. To help them in their investigation, they use a technique called fire science. In order to complete fire investigations in the United States, you must have certification through the International Association of Arson Investigators. There is also a national certification level that you can get by going through the National Association of Fire Investigators. Professionals in the field of fire and explosives make up this group and can specialize in explosives investigation, instructor certification, and vehicle investigation. These investigators learn about many of the common culprits found in the home, such as plug in appliances or cigarettes, which often result in fires. They also learn about home construction and how humans behave. No matter which form of fire investigation is used, the details of the scene must always be studied in order to have an accurate idea about the fire’s origin.

Investigating a fire is very difficult, and is considered one of the hardest forms of crime scene investigation. One of the most difficult questions that a fire investigator must answer is whether there has even been a crime. In other forms of crime scene investigations there is easy to see evidence of foul play, murder and wrongdoing. In a scene where there has been a fire, much of the evidence will have been destroyed, and the investigator must use what is left to determine whether the fire started by accident, or if it was done intentionally using arson. The fire investigator will look at the available evidence, and events leading up to the fire if they are available.

To determine the cause of a fire, the investigator will use a specific scientific method. Oftentimes, experts must be called in to look at specific appliances to see if they were in working order, or if they could have caused the fire. In the case of vehicle fires, it is important to know how the vehicle was functioning during the time of the fire, so they may need to use another expert to determine whether a malfunction in the vehicle could have caused the fire.

fire-investigationThere are five things that need to be in place in order to conduct a proper fire investigation. First, the assignment is given to the investigator, which lets them know what they are needed for. Second, the investigator must plan things that could be needed during the investigation such as equipment, expert help, or tools for the job. Thirdly, the scene needs to be examined closely in order to find any possible evidence and collect it. Fourth, the evidence must be collected and carefully examined, written down, tested, and evaluated. Finally, their methods are used to determine the cause of the fire after examining the findings from the evidence collected. These are the procedures that fire use when conducting an investigation using fire science.

Fire Escape Planning

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Fire Safety

One way to make sure your family is always safe in the case of a fire is to plan a successful fire escape route in your home. Make sure you practice with regular fire drills so that in the case of a fire, everybody knows what to do. Every year, over four thousand people die in house fires. Educating your children on fire safety will be beneficial to them for the rest of their lives. It will give them confidence and help them control their actions if a fire does start in your home. By including children in all fire safety planning, they will know which route to use to exit the home, possibly saving their life.

The most important factor to keep in mind while planning your fire escape route is time. Ask yourself what the fastest way out of your house is, and base your escape route on that. Speed is important because the more time you spend in a burning building, the more dangerous your surroundings become. When exiting the home keep moving until you are out. Do not stop to pick up any of your valuables or personal belongings. Your own life is the only thing you need to be worried about because it cannot be replaced like your personal belongings can be. Because a fire could potentially break out in any room of your home, it is important to include all rooms in your fire escape plan. By going over every room in your escape plan, both you and your children will be more familiar with the layout of your house. This will give you a great advantage when trying to escape from a fire. Another good thing to teach your children is how to remove screens from the windows so that if need be, they can escape through a window. If you have a multi story home, invest in a collapsible ladder, which you can climb down from if you need to escape from a top floor window.

Be sure your children are aware that when exiting the home, they should be on their hands and knees. Conduct all fire drills in this fashion also because the home looks different from this level and familiarity is very important to being able to successfully leaving the home. Explaining to your children, the dangers of smoke, and how important it is to try to avoid it at all costs could save their life. When opening a door during a fire, be sure to feel it first for heat so you can properly judge if there are flames on the other side. In the event you cannot open a door because it is hot, move on to the next planned escape route.

fire-escapeAfter covering all possible exit routes from the home, and it has been made clear where everyone should exit depending on what room they are in when the fires tarts. You need to decide on a safe meeting spot outside the home. This spot should be far enough away from the home that it cannot be reached by smoke coming out of the house. Everybody needs to know how important it is to meet in this specified area. If everybody goes to a different location, you will not know if the others are safe. Many have died by re-entering a burning building to find loved ones that did not show up at the designated meeting spot. Those with firefighter jobs are the only ones who should ever re-enter the home. Once everyone is at the special meeting spot, the fire department should be called so that people with the qualifications to become a firefighter can come and extinguish the fire. To be sure that you and your family are always safe, make sure that you practice often. Make fire safety a permanent part of your household.

Types of Emergency Workers

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Firefighter Jobs

The term emergency worker is used to describe a variety of job titles. Although firefighting jobs are included in that list, the United States government has a listing of the various classes of emergency workers, and what is expected of them. We’re going to look at the different labels for emergency workers, and what their jobs require during a time of emergency or disaster.

Before you even enter a disaster situation, Administration workers are there to manage and coordinate support activities as well as directing and recruiting. Their jobs also include technical, clerical, and administrative duties.

Firefighters are one major class of emergency worker. They go through firefighter training to learn how to fight fire related emergencies, but can also help out with medical issues as well as search and rescue missions. Those with firefighter jobs educate the general public about fire safety and hazards and have a heightened awareness of the dangers involved in different types of fires.

Pilots are also considered to be emergency workers and are necessary to assist in not only flying planes, but also search and rescue efforts in a disaster. Aviation workers must be licensed by the Federal Aviation administration, and all their aircraft must be approved by them.

Communications workers set up communication posts in an emergency. This enables contact to be made where it normally wouldn’t be possible. These workers are educated in the laws governing state and local emergency communications directives.

Engineering workers have a very busy job which consists of activities involving structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering. They are responsible for rebuilding permanent posts, and temporary shelters. They can maintain highways, streets, and bridges.

General emergency workers are used in many disaster situations and are used when needed. Unlike many other types of emergency workers, they don’t specialize in any one form of emergency. These workers may be called to help bag sand for a sand wall during a flood, or they may be called upon to join in search parties or assist in handling casualties during a disaster. They work whenever and wherever they are needed most. By law, they are required to register as a temporary emergency worker every time they help in a disaster situation.

Law enforcement workers such as police are responsible for upholding the laws of their particular city and state. To the best of their ability, they have sworn to protect and serve their communities.

firefighter-training-dummyMass care emergency workers help hand out clothes, food, and other necessities in the event of a disaster. They help land evacuations and manage mass care centers. These emergency workers provide as much help as necessary to people who have survived a disaster.

Although there are many types of emergency workers that exist, they are all completely necessary. They are essentially the glue which holds our society together and without them our world would be chaotic and unsafe. Emergency workers provide us with peace of mind. They sacrifice their time and occasionally their lives for other people and are truly selfless.

The Five Fire Classifications

January 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Firefighter News

In a firefighters world, types of fire are broken up into five different classes, so that those with firefighter jobs can have a better system of understanding for the types of fires they face. When people learn how to become a firefighter in a training academy they are fully educated about each fire class, and what methods should be used to fight each type of fire. Each fire class needs to be handled differently, requiring a different strategy to control it. The classifications of fire are listed under either A class, B class, C class, D class or K class. As a side note, in the United Kingdom, the K class is known as the F class.

Class A Fires

Class A fires are the most common in today’s firefighting world. These fires are caused by wood and other combustible materials. Other fires that are considered part of this class are campfires, candle fires, and fires caused by matches or lighters. A fire requires three things, also known as a fire triangle, to stay hot. These three things are heat, oxygen, and a source of fuel. Class a fires require all three of these things in order to continue. When oxygen is available, and the material becomes hot enough to cause combustion, flames often result, spreading the fire to other materials around it. Generally, a campfire is safe and contained, however under the right circumstances such as a wind gust or a spark landing in the surrounding brush the fire will leave the confines of the campfire into the surrounding area. This type of fire accident can quickly spread into surrounding forest. This is known as an A class fire. Water is commonly used to extinguish this type of fire, and it does so by removing the oxygen and heat. Certain chemicals such as those found in household fire extinguishers can also smother the flames.

Class B Fires

Class B fires use the same fire triangle as class A fires, however gasoline or another similar fuel is used as a substitution for wood. Class B fires cannot be extinguished easily with water so a foam or co2 based product is usually used to smother the fire. The K class is very similar to the B class with the only difference being the use of cooking oils as the source for the fire. Specially designed fire extinguishers are used for this class.

Class C Fires

Class C fires are caused by electrical devices or defective appliances. The fire triangle in this situation uses the electrical current in place of a lighter or match as the source of heat for the fire. Using water to extinguish this type of fire would result in electrocution, so it should never be used. Many firefighters have died while fighting this type of fire because of the electrical current traveling up the water stream into the hose. To extinguish a class C fire the oxygen section of the fire triangle must be interrupted. To do this, a special protein based foam is often used, or if possible, the source of the electricity is cut off. Special fire extinguishers can be used to fight this class of fire.

types-of-firesClass D Fires

Class D fires are fires that deal with metals. These metals can be magnesium, uranium, calcium, potassium, sodium, plutonium, or titanium. These types of fires are very hot, often reaching over 1200 degrees. Water should not be used to extinguish this type of fire because water actually makes the fire hotter in this case. A dry powder is often used to extinguish these fires, which smothers the oxygen supply to the fire.