Fire Suppression

In this unit you will learn about:

  • Fire Chemistry: How fire occurs, classes of fire, and choosing the correct means to extinguish each type of fire.
  • Fire Hazards: Potential fire hazards in the home and workplace, and fire prevention strategies.
  • Fire Safety: How to evaluate fires, assess firefighting resources, and determine a course of action.
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers: Types of portable fire extinguishers and how to operate them.
  • Fire Suppression Safety: How to decide if you should attempt to extinguish a fire; how to approach and extinguish a fire safely.
  • Teamwork: The importance of working with a buddy.
  • Hazardous Materials: How to identify potentially dangerous materials in storage or in transit.

Unit Overview

During and immediately following a severe emergency, the first priorities of professional fire services are life safety and extinguishing major fires. They may be hampered by impassable roads, inadequate water supply, weather conditions, burning material, and inadequate resources.

CERT Teams play a very important role in fire safety by:

  • Extinguishing small fires before they become major fires. This unit will provide training on how to use an extinguisher to put out small fires—and how to recognize when a fire is too big to handle.
  • Preventing additional fires by removing fuel sources. This unit will also describe how to ensure that a fire, once extinguished, is completely extinguished.
  • Shutting off utilities, when necessary and safe to do so.
  • Assisting with evacuations where necessary. When a fire is beyond the ability of CERTs to extinguish, CERT members need to protect life safety by evacuating the area, when necessary, and establishing a perimeter.

CERT members help in fire-related emergencies when professional responders (paid and volunteer) are delayed. When responding, CERT members should keep in mind the following CERT standards:

Rescuer safety is always the number one priority. Therefore, CERT members always:

  • Work with a buddy.
  • Wear safety equipment (gloves, helmet , goggles, mask, and boots).
  • The CERT goal is to do the greatest good for the greatest number.

Unit Objectives

At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  • Explain the role that CERTs play in fire safety.
  • Identify and reduce potential fire risks in the home and workplace.
  • Conduct a basic sizeup for a fire emergency.

Understand minimum safety precautions, including:

  • Safety equipment.
  • Utility control.
  • Buddy system.
  • Back-up teams.
  • Identify locations of hazardous materials in the community and the home, and reduce the risk from hazardous materials in the home.
  • Extinguish small fires using a fire extinguisher.

The unit will provide you with the knowledge and skills that you will need to reduce or eliminate fire hazards and extinguish small fires. The areas that you will learn about include:

  • How fires start and what keeps them burning.
  • Identification of fire hazards in the home, neighborhood, and workplace.
  • How to conduct a fire assessment, or sizeup.
  • The main firefighting resources that are available to CERTs and how to use them.
  • Procedures for safe firefighting.
  • Hazardous materials identification.

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