Hasselblad + Fire Extinguisher Chemicals :(

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by brent8927, May 29, 2005.

  1. brent8927

    brent8927 Member

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    Just something that happened to me today that I thought I'd share...

    I was cooking some meatballs tonight, for dinner. After they were in the oven about five minutes I noticed an interesting orange glow comming form inside. Then I thought... crap... my meatballs are burning. So I opened the oven door and sure enough there was a grease/oil fire in the oven. I closed the door, thinking, it wasn't so bad. Then I thought, well, it's a fire, and it's probably going to keep burning and will wreck the oven and maybe the house, so I ran over to get the fire extinguisher (I've never used one before!) and promptly put out the fire.

    Unfortunately I had forgot that my Hasselblad kit was on the kitchen counter, about a few feet away from the oven. That, and the fire extinguisher being one of those that really puts out a lot of dusty chemicals, combined with my brother turning on the kitchen fan to get the smoke out left quite a bit of dust (i.e. chemicals!) on my dear Hasselblad.

    Fortunately all the dust came off without a problem and caused no damage to anything (except my head; I have a headache now), and no dust got inside the camera or through any crevases/openings in the camera.

    Unfortunately the meatballs didn't fare so well... It's truly a difficult time for me... I really love meatballs...
     
  2. Marc Leest

    Marc Leest Member

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    What ? And you did take NO picture of the incident while the camera was ready ? :rolleyes:
     
  3. brent8927

    brent8927 Member

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    Unfortunatey it didn't occur to me! Some photographer I am...
     
  4. eric

    eric Member

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    Ouch! Next time, use flour or salt. Just pour right on the fire. Snuffs it out. Never use H20 on grease fire in the oven.
     
  5. Aodhán

    Aodhán Member

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    What fire extinguisher did you use? I do not mean to cause unnecessary worry but if it's the powder variety it has borax as an ingredient. Problem with this type is 1. you'll have no problem going to the toilet the next day after inhaling and 2. which is quite a problem, it will corrode all electronic components, like circuitboards and electronic contacts of equipment that is exposed to it.
    Let's hope you will not have problems with it!
    I threw all powder extinguishers away and bought myself a foam-version which is harmless. The best but also most expensive is probably Co2.
     
  6. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Baking Powder - sodium bicarbonate - would be useful as a fire extinguisher in a kitchen.

    CO2 - Carbon Dioxide would probably be best, but don't use it on a
    "paper" fire ---

    One word of advice - We had a small fire in a company where I worked (I was a Lieutenant on the in-house Fire Department), and one of the technicians grabbed one of the larger CO2 extinguishers, pulled the pin, quickly squeezed the handle --- and was so startled by the noise of the escaping CO2 (which is considerable) that he reflexively threw the extinguisher away. It flew across the room, with very little effect.

    That led us to think - how few of us had EVER used ANY of the extinguishers....

    We finally had the local Municipal Fire Department giving us classes - hands on - the various types of extinguishers and the proper techniques of their use.

    Anyone having a CO2 extinguisher SHOULD try it a couple of times, just to understand what it sounds like.
     
  7. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    The CO2 thing reminds me of a small petro fire we had at one of our locations.

    An individual grabbed a CO2 bottle and held it about chest high and set it off.

    I don't understand the mechanics of it, but the intense heat rode right up over the cold CO2 and burnt his hair. He wasn't hurt, other than having shorter eyebrows for a cuple weeks. He too threw the bottle.

    We were later trained to hold the bottle head high.

    Mike
     
  8. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Actually, most dry powder extinguishers use ammonium sulphate as their primary ingredient. I've been around this powder once (used to put out an engine fire in a car I was driving at the time), don't recall any laxative properties.

    Baking soda is the best for kitchen fires, though it's sometimes hard to apply where it's needed. Dry chemical seems bad for kitchens, to me, since you'll inevitably contaminate the whole kitchen with the powder (which, while not directly toxic, doesn't taste at all good), but it may be the only choice in pressurized extinguishers since CO2 tends to blow burning liquids around (potentially spreading the fire if you don't kill it instantly) and Halon types have been banned for years.

    Do *not* try to use flour to put out a fire -- if you disperse it into the air, it can ignite and *explode*, doing a lot more damage than would be the case if you simply dial 911 and wait for the fire department to arrive. With electric ovens, it's often sufficient to simply turn off the oven, leave the door closed, and wait -- the oven has little air circulation and removing the heat source will often kill the fire in a couple minutes anyway. Gas ovens, unfortunately, don't permit this trick, since they have ventilation for the gas flame.

    For fires on the stove top (I occasionally get a flare from a hot burner when I flip onions I'm sauteing or similar), a pan lid is perfect -- just cover the burner or pot, and wait, the fire will go out quickly from lack of oxygen, and you can often avoid major damage to the food.
     
  9. Aodhán

    Aodhán Member

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    You can use Co2 on almost anything but untrained it can be a very dangerous tool. One thing to remember is keep your head down! Always stay very low or you can be singed.
    Most firedepartments over here have special instruction courses for companies. We folow an onstructionprogram there every year

    Maybe Borax is just an ingredient in dutch powder extinguishers, or the firedepartment where I was instructed had it all wrong...
     
  10. brent8927

    brent8927 Member

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    I do remember the fire extinguisher I used had ammonium sulphate because when my brother read the list of the chemicals in the extinguisher and I heard that name, I of course remembered ammonium thiosulfate (or is it thiosulphate? either way it sounds the similar).

    I thought about just leaving the oven door closed and letting the fire go out on its own, but the flames were somewhat substantial and even though ovens are meant to contain a lot of heat, but I didn't want to risk burning down the kitchen. I may be mistaken but I believe it's only a matter of time before the fire is too hot and gets through the insulation. Also, it's not my house- I live go to school nearby so I live at home and I didn't want to take a risk with their house when I didn't know whether or not the flame could go out on it's own or if it would keep burning.
     
  11. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    That is called "backflash".

    The correct way is to aim the CO2 in front of and below the base of the fire, and sweeping up, slowly - cutting off the oxygen supply progressively - from the base up.

    The way it was explained was that if you "blanket" the fire, it will search for oxygen by spreading rapidly in every direction under the blanketing cloud. Not technically accurate - but close enough in practice.
     
  12. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I think Jim's eyebrows are reasonable evidence that you are correct.

    Mike