Friday, September 7, 2007

Fire in the can!

The flashover simulator at the VBFD training center is a box in which a fire is lit in the high part and firefighters sit in the lower section. The fire is allowed to progress through free burning. The heat builds up, by products are released. The smoke takes on a different characteristic. It changes from a lazy white smoke (white is caused from a lot of moisture), to a dark, yellow quickly moving smoke. The carbon monoxide reaches its ignition temperature at 1128 degrees. At this point the smoke ignites and everything in the room is on fire. This is a flashover. For the last three days the Chesapeake Fire Department brought some crews here to put in the flashover can. So for three days I got to sit up front in the hottest part of the box. This is a great job. Tamayo, can't wait till I get to put you through it, you'll have a blast.

The simulator shortly after lighting. Free burning is going on.

Check out the change in smoke. A lot more fuel ready to burn in that smoke. Flashover is occurring inside the can. Temperatures are over 1000 degrees in places.

That's me after day three. I have to be careful not to touch anything on me. Gloves come off last or I'll burn my hands.

I got a little burn on my back. During the first day part of the fuel fell from the ceiling and landed on my shoulder. Because I was already hot and burning up, I didn't notice that the board was burning on my shoulder. I left a few blisters, but not too bad.

Overall it was great training. It has been a couple months since I was in it last. Love the heat.
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