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Thread: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

  1. #1

    Default A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Hey Bud...have seen you all over our favorite forums.

    As a firefighter, would you please give us your views on what, if any, light is effective, or at least better than nothing, in smoke....does anything really work?

    I have heard that too bright a light "bounces" back, too narrow is not helpful, to "flood" is not effective....what works?

    I know that Streamlight and Pelican see use in emergency services, but is that just b/c they are rugged and reliable?

    All the Phila. Fire Dept uses S-light Liteboxes. I have seen Koehler on turn-out coats.

    As a homeowner who may have to help evacuate a family with young kids, I know I have to stay low to navigate, but is there a light you prefer?

    TIA....Geoff...formerly Geoff in Philly

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* FC.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    I'll get back to you...

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    also what color, i think i have seen some people say orange/amber is better for fog/smoke than white.

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    Flashaholic* FC.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Number one, all of my observations are based on my senses and my experiences. I am not a sales rep, or a test scientist. So,

    Amber does not do jack. It is a bunch of BS. Maybe in a lab...

    Smoke in your house:
    Staying low MAY save your life. Smoke will raise, and stay high, as long as it is not disturbed. Same goes for heat. You open doors, windows, blinds, etc and disturb so called thermal balance. Now insted of having 150 degrees at your feet, and 600 by your head, you have 750 everywhere. Staying low will not help now.
    Fighting fire you first cool super-hot gases by the ceiling, wait 5-10 seconds, and then attack the seat of the fire.

    The smoke in a structure fire is nothing like you have ever experienced. It is like swimming in ink.
    The light with the very tight beam will look like a searchlight, and will work at very close distance(few feet). We use a so called lighted rope to navigate in smoke. Thermal imaging camera is the best way to see.

    If your house has a fire try to get out while it is still in "room and content" stage. It is when only one room is burning. Do not try to put a fire out. Most people die that way. You need 100 gallons of water to put out a fully involved couch. You do not have that ability.

    Make sure you have a good insurance.
    If you live in rural area, chances are that your house will be gone. Our average response time is 6 min, rural FDs are 15-20 min. (While it takes less then 5 min to spread from burning couch to full house)

    If you smell smoke, GET OUT!!! Don't investigate - every second count. If you are naked, too bad, go outside. You life is more important.

    A light may help, it may not. I suggest a Lithium powered light with a most powerful bulb you can find.

    If you tell me more about your house construction, I can tell you a bit more.

    BTW, I use a SF 6PN on my helmet, Streamlight NewSurvivor on my coat, M6 for rescue, and Litbox for extended run time.

    Here are some pics of the lighted rope. To see it in a fire, you must put it within 12" from your face. Just give you an idea of smoke density.

    This rope has two red and one green leds every 4 feet. Two reds will take to the fire, green will take you outside. It is rated at 450degrees for 12 minutes. Cost about $13 a foot. We carry 200 ft.











    I am sorry if I did not help you. I tryed. if you have any more Qs, please ask. If you ever make it this way(Pittsburgh), let me know.

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    Flashaholic* txwest's Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    FC,
    Great pictures & information. Thanks for the input. Might save my life some day. TX

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    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    What TX said.

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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Ditto

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    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Cheers...very informative! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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    *Moderator* K-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Thanks, FC, for all these infos. Very informative and important! These are details someone might not and/or cannot know except from personal experience. [img]graemlins/icon14.gif[/img]

    Klaus.

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    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Great info! Love hearing the "real world" version, versus the "textbooks". Thanks.

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    Flashaholic* x-ray's Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing FC [img]graemlins/icon14.gif[/img]

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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Hello Mr. Blue,

    I would like to add a couple of suggestions to this excellent list:

    Test your smoke alarms and make sure they work. If you don't have them, get them and make sure they are properly installed.

    Have a family meeting and discuss what to do in case of fire. Primary exit, secondary exit, safe meeting place outside, etc.

    Keep your primary and secondary exit routes open. I get upset with my family when they put stuff where you can trip over it in an emergency.

    I keep fire extinguishers in the bedrooms and the kitchen, thinking that they may help if my exit path is blocked.

    The final thing is to practice. If you want to know what it is like to get out of your house when it is filled with smoke, put on a blindfold and crawl out of the house on your hands and knees. It will give you a different perspective on how your furniture should be arranged.

    Tom

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    Enlightened agent8698's Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    That was probably the most interesting and valuable post I've ever read on this board. Max

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    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Thanks for the info. Very good post?

    Out of curiosity, as far as amber not doing anything, do you think it's solely that amber vs. white isn't an advantage, or could it be the fact that in most cases amber light is generated by filtering white (and as a result is inherently quite a bit less intense.)

    Physics-wise, it makes sense that red will penetrate smoke better than amber, and amber better than white, IF they are the same intensity. (But getting a pure red light the same intensity as a high-power white is hard.) Shorter wavelengths tend to scatter more (this is why the sky is blue, and also why thermal imaging cameras work best, since IR is a much longer wavelength.)

    Still, I don't see any high-intensity pure red sources that would allow this to be tested properly in the near future. MAYBE if 5W red Luxeons existed such a source could be constructed with 4-5 emitters, but they're not available and probably will never be. (I don't think the issues are technical, it's just that Luxeon has not chosen to create 5W in any colors other than green,cyan,blue,RB,white)

  15. #15
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    [img]graemlins/icon14.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/icon14.gif[/img] VERY good info to spread around especially the lightropes 12" visibility (smoke IS DENSE)& getting right out... thanks guys!

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* FC.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Thank you everybody.

    If you have any Qs, just ask. Want to see pics? Ask, and I'll take em.

    Glad I could help.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    As F-C said smoke can be as thick as ink. I've been in a large hotel fire where the smoke was as black as hell, no light penetrated at all. The lowest foot was absolutly clear. After my third bottle my yellow turnouts were black. The next day I had to get a haircut just so I could get rid of the smoke smell. A light on your helmet helps to see your hands. A tight beam, we used Pelican 3-Cs, helps when crawling, but not much. The bottom line is FFs rely on training and common sense along with a cool head to enter and exit DARK and HOT enclosures. Scared? Hell yes, but the job needs to be done.

    With the reduction in physical requirements for the job so that almost anyone can pass the test comes other problems. FFs in some jurisdictions can just refuse to follow orders if it makes them uncomfortable. There is no need to believe in the experience of veterans.

    Maybe F-C has some pics of a blower in operation.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    This is a little off topic but the need for lights is mentioned. If your in the fire service or an LEO good luck keeping your eyes dry.
    http://www.equipped.com/groundzero.htm

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* FC.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    2Dogs, thanks. Great(and very sad) observations.

    As for a blower.... Next time we do some some real fire training.

    What local where you?

  20. #20
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    1716

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* FC.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Local 1 for me. Isn't it cool?

    If you are ever out this way, let me know.

  22. #22

    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Thankyou for your contribution, concern and service...Geoff

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Skyline's Avatar
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    FC,

    That was a really helpful and informative post. I look forward to reading anything else about fire safety that you could educate us with.

    Thanks!

  24. #24
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    FC i didn't mean to drag this thread out too far but I've had computer (router) problems since last Friday.
    Here is a pic of what you find in the smoke when you can't see. We received a structure alarm during lunch (of course) on the busiest street in town. The owner (landlord) of the Victorian was scraping paint using a torch. He didn't see behind him the house was on fire. Someone had to stop and tell him and then he called 911. We were second in buy a few seconds and brought the hydrant supply line. This was my first fire as an AC and of course it had to be in a balloon frame house.
    As soon as the word Victorian was spoken during size up the second alarm assignment started out so they arrived before we even knew it. My assignment was searching the second floor. I took a bedroom and started out on the left wall. I coulndn't see anything as the smoke was too thick. Not real dark or hot, just smokey. I crawled, turned left, turned right, maybe crawled into a closet, turned right opened another small door and tried to get in. Too small, too dark. My Pelican 3C was useless. While I was trying to back out a head came up through the smoke and hovered in front of my mask. An eight foot Burmese python was asking for help.
    Anyway we knocked down the fire in both floors, the crawl space and the attic. When I came out to change bottles a very pretty, blonde college student asked about her snake. I didn't want her to worry so I volunteered to rescue the snake. It was a tearful reunion.
    That's me holding the snake and my partner Bob mugging with me.
    I've never tried attaching an image so here goes.

    C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\bill pic.jpg

  25. #25
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: A request for F-C/ Fire Rescue::Light and Smoke

    Well, that worked well. Try this.

    http://us.f802.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Sho...ad=b&box=Inbox

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