Port Hope Fire Service demonstrates the speed at which fires can spread
Fire safety should be on everyone’s mind all the time, but it’s especially important during the holidays.
On Friday, with the assistance of Port Hope High School construction trades students, Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services gave a demonstration of how quickly fire can spread, and how it can be slowed down to allow you and your family to escape. The students built two free-standing rooms, both identically furnished and finished, but with one important difference — one had smoke alarms and sprinklers installed, and one didn’t
“Our kids, they love doing stuff like this,” said construction teacher Gord Atanasoff. “There’s all kinds of stuff about framing, about dry-walling, about sprinkler systems, fire safety; it was a great thing to do.”
With 500 elementary students looking on, firefighters set fire to a small pile of clothing and paper in both rooms. As the fires spread, they heard the smoke detector go off within a few minutes. As the fire continued to burn in both rooms, smoke and flame began to billow out of the rooms until the sprinkler system activated and quickly extinguished the one fire.
The fire in the other room soon reached the flashover stage, before being exinguished by firefighters
Port Hope Emergency Services Chief C. Ryan Edgar said fire prevention is especially important over the holiday season, when there are more sources of fuel and ignition than normal in people’s home.
“We remind people we don’t want to see live fire in the Christmas trees,” Edgar said. “We want to look to see there’s no overloading of extension cords, that the Christmas lights are properly attended to and that everything in the area of the Christmas tree, the candles that people use in their house, aren’t too close to the Christmas trees themselves.”
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