July 4th — the firebug’s holiday — is coming, so I’m bringing up fire safety again. At the Toolmonger shop, we take safety very seriously, and although we’re not the final authority on fire safety, we run into some good information and try to get opinions from experts when we can. Whether you’re following our advice or someone else’s, make sure you’re as prepared for a fire as you can be — it could be your shop, or even a life on the line.
In response to a post from last year, Deputy Fire Marshal Bill made a great comment: He pointed out that even if you pack a fire extinguisher, it’s important to first call 911 and get the firefighters on their way! The less time it takes for the professionals to arrive, the better off you are, regardless of what you do in the interim.
Even if you should be lucky and put the fire out, the firefighters will bring things like experience and thermographic imagers to make sure that you really are safe — instead of waiting for a smoldering fire in a wall or couch to reignite during the night while you sleep.
And if you choose to fight a fire yourself, remember that information is your best weapon. Make certain you know what you’re doing so you don’t make the fire bigger, or electrocute yourself. Your local fire department may also provide fire-safety classes and information.
Fire Extinguisher Basics [Fire Extinguisher 101]