(ABC4 NEWS – LAYTON, UT) Jets are flying overhead. Life Flight is landing. Fire truck sirens fill the air. Layton and North Davis County is full of heroes.
Jason Cook, Battalion Chief at the Layton Fire Department wants to remind people that when it come to fire safety you can be a hero, by having an escape plan and preventative measures. How? Chief Cooks says; “Smoke detectors throughout, because notification and getting people out of the home is always going to be our number one priority.”
Do you know how most home fires start? According to Cook; “The number one cause of fires in houses involve cooking fires.”
What should you do in that case? Cook continued; “Everybody’s inclination is to put water on a fire. When in fact the very best thing, especially in that circumstance that we can do is to smother the fire. A simple little thing like taking a pot cover and covering the fire safely sliding it across over whatever may be burning will quick extinguish the fire in a matter of seconds.”
I asked the Battalion Chief to put me to work. He didn’t disappoint me and said; “I think we should suit you up and have you go fight some fire with us tonight.”
The Layton Fire Department took good care of me and helped me get all the protective gear on. I was amazed to learn that they get suited up in 45 seconds or less and get their breathing apparatus on and operating is another 45 seconds or less.
Firefighter Shiloh Crawmer gave me extra time. The outfit is pretty heavy, especially when you add the lifesaving air tank. I felt like I was wearing a whole bunch of sweat suits. Let’s just say that I’m glad that is was a relatively cool day.
Crawmer gave me detailed instructions as a shipping container with a sprinkler system on one side and no protection on the other side. He told me; “This is showing the difference between fire suppression and not. Once they light it that shows the purpose and functionality of a suppression system. This one on the right is going to burn 4 to 6 minutes. The national average response time.”
They lit up the side without sprinklers. The heat was pretty intense. Crawmer remarked that it was only about 1000 degrees. He said when they are surrounded by flames the temperature is closer to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
About 4 minutes had passed and it was time to do to work. We checked each other’s equipment, made eye contact and gave each other the thumbs up. The fire had gone from a couch and was moving wildly up the walls. The water was directed side to side and got most of the room. We then moved closer to extinguish the embers. The smoke was thick, and I was very thankful for both the suit and the breathing gear.
It was then time to light up the side with the fire sprinkler system. It was amazing to see what a difference fire sprinkler system can make. When the smoke cleared, I was surprised to see how little damage there was.
My message for everyone is that not all heroes wear capes. Make sure you have smoke detectors. Have an escape plan and practice it with your family.
With another Utah Caring Stories. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.