During and immediately after a disaster, the first priorities of professional fire services are life and safety and extinguishing major fires. They may be hampered by impassible roads, inadequate water supply, burning material, and inadequate resources to deal with the number of existing major fires. At this time, CERT fire suppression groups play a very important role in firefighting and fire prevention by:
Putting out small fires before they become major fires.
Preventing additional fires by removing fuel sources.
Assisting with evacuations where necessary.
Portable fire extinguishers are an invaluable firefighting tool. They can be used to eliminate small fires that might otherwise grow into larger, more destructive fires and to prevent the loss of life and property.
Potential fuel sources include natural gas and electrical utilities as well as hazardous materials. Understanding fire hazards in the home and workplace will help you determine the appropriate course of action to take.
ALWAYS WORK WITH A BUDDY
Fire requires three elements to exist:
1. Heat. The temperature at which a material produces a vapor, and the temperature at which vapors burn. (Vapors will self- ignite if the temperature is hot enough.
2. Fuel. The fuel for a fire may be a solid, liquid, or gas. The type and quantity of the fuel will determine which method should be used.
3. Oxygen. Fires will burn vigorously in any atmosphere of at least 20 % oxygen. ( room air ) Without oxygen, fuel could be heated until entirely vaporized, and it would not burn.