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#181873 - 09/10/09 02:58 AM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: Nicodemus]
Compugeek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
My thoughts, as a layman:

It seems like he's showing worst case situations. For example, if there'd been a ladder when they got down to the second roof, cool, everyone is down and safe. But they showed the less-familiar example of a rescue bag, and now everyone who's seen the show at least has some idea what to do. (Actually doing it may be a different matter.)


They knew the fire was getting closer. Their anchor was outside that room, wrapped around a desk spanning a doorway. If they waited until the flames got to their room, there would be a strong chance they wouldn't all get out, either just due to time, or due to the heat making their anchor fail. Waiting was not an option.


The RJ45 connectors were irrelevant. They found cables long enough to reach the lower roof in a single length. I wish he'd shown some simple way to tie cables together that wouldn't fail. Most of us know how, but out of a random group of people, how many others would?


Was it the "how to survive a wildfire" thread here where NOT weting down your clothes was discussed? Cade lost points there, which left me feeling a need to confirm anything he said that wasn't obvious, or I didn't already know.

And leaves me concerned about future information.
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#181885 - 09/10/09 06:29 AM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: Compugeek]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Compugeek

Was it the "how to survive a wildfire" thread here where NOT weting down your clothes was discussed? Cade lost points there, which left me feeling a need to confirm anything he said that wasn't obvious, or I didn't already know.


If I recall that discussion correctly, wet clothes is to be avoided because the water will heat up and burn you, either as steam or as plain hot water. In particular, you can breath through a bandana but keep it dry - you don't want hot steam in your lungs.

If you're ever that close to the heat in an office fire I think you'll be dead to smoke and toxic fumes anyway. Lying down on a patch of incombustible dirt in a forest fire is totally different from being stuck inside a burning building. The smoke will be trapped there with you, and that smoke is much more toxic than that of a wildfire - and in a wildfire, that smoke has somewhere else to go.

In a wildfire, you die from heat and burns. In a housefire you typically die from the smoke before the heat kills you.

So wetting clothes or not wetting clothes...? I have no idea. The idea is essential that evaporation will cool you, but if this is only useful as long as you're not burned by hot steam. I'm speculating that for this is useful conditions are such that you would not be that badly burnt anyway... but if wet clothing can make a difference between light burns and no burns, then I'm all for wetting your clothes.

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#181896 - 09/10/09 12:58 PM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: MostlyHarmless]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
I am left wondering what the sprinkler system was doing.
If the sprinklers tripped like they should have then the question of whether to wet your clothes or not is kind of moot, isn't it?


Edited by scafool (09/10/09 01:19 PM)
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#181908 - 09/10/09 03:00 PM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: scafool]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I suppose knowing still doesn't change my behavior. Almost all I wear at work is synthetic golf shorts and dri-fit shirts. If in a hi-ri fire am I too take off all my clothes, including synthetic skivvies? haha. Not the best time to go streaking. Though it would certainly make it to Snopes whether I lived or not.

I read an interesting article on NOMEX CVC uniforms. The jumpsuits worn by tankers, pilots, etc. While fire resistant it still doesn't stop the heat affecting other articles of clothing being worn under it. Its highly recommended that soldiers wearing NOMEX do not wear synthetic shirts or skivvies like Under Armour, instead to where cotton products.
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#181911 - 09/10/09 03:13 PM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: comms]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
Cotton and wool work well under a nomex flightsuit. Massif (not affiliated) also has some nomex long sleeved crew-tops and T-shirts that work well without the flightsuit. Nomex fleece is surprisingly comfortable.

I never wear poly without a layer of cotton or wool under.
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#181912 - 09/10/09 03:27 PM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: comms]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: comms
While fire resistant it still doesn't stop the heat affecting other articles of clothing being worn under it.

I'm not sure I'd agree with this statement about Nomex not stopping heat. Nomex is highly heat resistant, but if exposed long enough to high enough temperature, your flesh will eventually burn. And in case someone gets to that point, then I would agree that it would be better not to be wearing undergarments that will melt and make your injuries even worse.

Actually, this talk of Nomex got me to thinking. Although wet clothing is a better heat conductor than dry clothing, what if the logic involves flame resistance rather than heat insulation? Nomex will burn when directly exposed to flame, but remove the flame and the burning stops. Apply flame to your clothing and it burns. What happens if you remove the flame? I would think that most clothing will continue to burn and spread. I'm also assuming that wet clothing would stop burning or burn very slowly once any direct flame is removed. Comments?

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#181914 - 09/10/09 03:58 PM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: Arney]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 900
Loc: NW NJ
Nomex is "heat resistant" in that it is resistant to melting and burning. It is NOT some miracle insulator. A thin Nomex shirt does not protect your skin from heat much/any better than a similar thickness of cotton or wool.

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#181916 - 09/10/09 05:04 PM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: thseng]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I'm not sure if you're replying to my post or comms, thseng.

In fairness to comms, as I re-read comms' post, I think I am not correctly reading the intent of his point about Nomex. I think we're both saying the same thing--the heat will get through the Nomex, and in that case, yes, it's probably better not to be wearing synthetics underneath. I was thinking that his phrase "doesn't stop" meant "does not insulate at all". That's why I was mentioning that Nomex does have insulating properties, more than your typical fabrics.

I was trying to look up the insulating property for Nomex and I happened to run across this statement which would seem to a supporting argument for the show's suggestion to wet down your clothes. From this page, in the Vertical Flame Test section.

Quote:
As you can see the polyester cotton blend and the 100% cotton test fabrics continued to burn until the whole sample piece was consumed. This test goes to show what a garment made of these non flame resistant materials will perform like when subject to a flame source. The continuation of a fabric to burn even after it has been removed from the flame source is the main reason that injury and/or fatal disasters can occur to a person wearing these garments. The Nomex on the other hand self extinguished within a 3.1 to a 3.3 inch burn length and had no after flame glow.


So, if we go back to that flashover scene from the episode. Remember that his clothes kept burning after the flashover (actually...was that before or after they wet themselves down???). If he could have avoided that additional heat from his clothes continuing to burn after the flashover, his injuries may have turned out less severe or burned less of his body.

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#181918 - 09/10/09 05:27 PM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: Arney]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
Heat and open flame are two different animals. Cotton may serve as an insulator from a heat source, while at the same an open flame could ignite the same cotton. A nomex outer garment such as a flight suit protects the wearer from open flame (for a finite period). The clothing an individual is wearing under the nomex provides additional protection from the heat -- cotton and wool perform well in this role because they don't melt. Polyester fabrics would be a poor choice.

While nomex will not support flame (burn) nor melt, what it will do is char and then it just disintegrates. I've had one of my flight suits for over 30 years, but it's never been subjected to flames.
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Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
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#181919 - 09/10/09 05:30 PM Re: new TV show to argue about: "Surviving Disaste [Re: Arney]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Flashover and insulative protection can be required for different situations. Radiant heat can be so intense that materials can either burn and/or melt. In these cases, a thin Nomex layer of clothing will not be sufficient for protection and the addition of insulation is necessary to reduce (not eliminate) major burns. Even Nomex/PBI turnout gear has limitations in providing protection from intense heat over any period of time. Keeping low in a fire situation can significantly increase your chances of survival even with thermal protection. With a flashover, there is a sudden “explosion” but short duration of actual fire, in this case the Nomex layer will provide protection in that the material will not melt and may provide a limited and temporary amount of thermal protection. However if the flashover results in other materials in close proximity to you, to ignite, where the thermal load increases and is maintained, the thin Nomex layer will be insufficient in providing protection. Keep in mind; you can incur significant burn injuries as much from intense heat (and steam) as from the fire itself.

Pete

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