Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fire & Flood

It seems counterintuitive, but a runaway fire destroyed more than 50 homes that were inundated by floodwaters.

How does that happen?

The report about this particular fire doesn't specify the cause, but there are several possibilities.
  • During the power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy, residents might have been using candles or lanterns to light their homes, and one of those might have gotten knocked over and started the fire. 
  • Sparking powerlines might have ignited the fire where the power entered the house. 
  • And exploding transformer might have caused the blaze.
  • Downed powerlines falling on roof of a house might be the culprit. 
  • A fuel spill or leak resulting from the massive storm could be involved. 
There's only so much you can do to mitigate the dangers when a storm blows into town. You can't stop power transformers from exploding or powerlines from being blown down. But you can make sure you aren't the cause of the fire by taking some precautions.
  • If you use candles for illumination, set them on a plate that has water in it. If the candle is knocked over, it will simply be extinguished. 
  • Clear away combustible materials from the area where emergency candles, oil lamps or lanterns are being used. Oil lamps, by the way, are risky. If they smash to the floor, the spilled oil will ignite and you'll have a major problem on hands. Camp lanterns are a better choice. 
  • Clear tree limbs (perhaps entire trees) away from powerlines. 
  • If instructed to do so, turn off the electrical main switch to your house to prevent electrical fires. Also turn off the natural gas or propane supply. 
  • Don't use a barbecue or hibachi for cooking indoors. Not only is that a fire hazard, but it is also a sure way to kill yourself by asphyxiation or carbon monoxide poisoning.


  1. I have lights you crank to keep going.

  2. That is a very good thing to have. Not only gives you illumination, but also warms you up on a chilly night by getting all the exercise. And helps reduce dependence on batteries.

  3. It gets boring, I hate boredom.