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  • Writer's pictureThe English Translator

We didn't start the fire

I learned a valuable life skill yesterday. Probably like most of you, I have a fire extinguisher at home. Every now and again (hmm, once a year, every 2 years? Dunno), I read the instructions so that I’ll know how to use it when the chips are down (see what I did there? No? Oh, well never mind). But my mind is like a sieve. I know everything about something for all of five minutes and then, poof, it’s gone. So at yesterday’s open day at the fire brigade, I decided it might be a good idea to take them up on their offer of putting out a fire and I learned how to use a fire extinguisher. Learning by doing is the best way to remember things. I was given very clear instructions and explanations, e.g., which type of extinguisher to use on what type of fire and to use it in small bursts so you can check where flames may still appear.

I’ve watched many a film on TV where the hero picks up one of those bright red shiny things and battles their way out of a burning building putting out fires along their way. But do you know what? An average 6 litre fire extinguisher only lasts for around 10 to 16 seconds. Think about that. 10 to 16 seconds to put out a raging inferno? I don’t think so. If you are ever, ever, EVER, met with a fire bigger than the size of a largish cushion, don’t hesitate. Ring the emergency hotline IMMEDIATELY. By the time, you’ve grabbed your fire extinguisher and read the instructions, that thing will be spreading so fast, you won’t have time to grab the cat and get out of there.

A big thank you to the FF Appel Fire Brigade for all their help.

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