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Have you ever wanted to ask a firefighter a question?

Well now's your chance! This is where Firefighter Shane answers fire safety questions from kids just like you!. Check out the questions asked below, and you just might find the answer you've been looking for.

Can't find your question?

No problem! Send your question by by e-mail to [email protected].

What can I do to keep from getting false alarms without using my smoke alarm for a frisbee?

Dear Wanda
Sure false alarms can be a hassle, but taking the battery out of the smoke alarm as you know, can lead to tragic circumstances. Without knowing exactly where your smoke alarm is placed, let's go over a few basics.

  • Smoke alarms should be located away from kitchen and bath areas, as both are a frequent source for false alarms.
  • The smoke alarm should be placed near bedrooms either on the ceiling - at least 6 to 12 inches away from the wall - or on the wall, 6 to 12 inches down from the ceiling. This allows the alarm to sense the smoke as it approaches the sleeping area.
  • You should have at least one smoke alarm per floor, for rapid detection.

There are two types of smoke alarms on the market, ionization and photoelectric. An ionization smoke alarm detects a flaming fire faster, a photoelectric will detect a smoldering fire quicker. Both are excellent, but because the photoelectric smoke alarm relys on a visible amount of smoke to trip the alarm, while the ionization will trip when invisible by-products of detection are present, you may have better luck with the photoelectric, especially if false alarms are preventing you from using your smoke alarm at all. The majority of smoke alarms on the market are ionization, so chances are this is the type you have. I should also add that combination photoelectic/ionization smoke alarms are also available which give the most rapid detection, no matter what kind of fire may be burning.


I know you're supposed to dial 911 when there's a fire, but what do I tell them?

Courtney 9 years

Dear Courtney.
The most important thing to do when you call 911 is to try and stay calm. That can be a difficult thing to do when you are excited and scared, but you need to be calm so that the 911 operators can understand you, and get the information they need. The operators understand that you are excited, and will ask you the questions they need answered. When you first call 911 they will ask you if you want police, ambulance or fire. Then they put you through to that department. The operator will ask you what your address is, and why you are calling, Answer their questions calmly, and stay on the line until they are finished. In the case of a fire, it's always safest to call from a neighbor's house where you'll be safe.


What other types of calls do firefighters go on, other than calls for fires?

Connor 7

Fire TruckDear Connor.
Great question! Firefighters wear many different hats. We attend ambulance calls, as we are trained to take care of patients, and can often get to the scene before an ambulance . We have water rescue units that help save people in trouble on rivers and lakes. We have high angle rescue teams that can rescue people from high buildings. We have hazardous materials units that take care of chemicals and materials that are dangerous. We have trench rescue units to help save people who are trapped when the ground collapses. Chances are, if someone's in trouble, we're there to help them.


How can firefighters go into buildings that are on fire?

Isabelle 11

FirefighterDear Isabelle.
Well the big reason that we can go into burning buildings is because of the special firefighting equipment we wear. Every part of our body is protected. Our steel-toed boots protect our feet. Our turn-out pants protect our legs, and have knee pads so that we can crawl under the hot, smokey air. Our turn-out jackets protect our bodies, gloves protect our hands, and a helmet and balaclava protects our head, face and neck. But most importantly our masks protect our lungs. Fires are very smokey, and we could never survive in a fire without our masks and air bottles. Remember too that we are well trained, and although firefighting is very dangerous, we try to enter a building or home as safely as we can.





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