[GSBN] Straw Bale House Fire
rehorn at frontier.net
Wed Apr 1 21:27:11 CDT 2009
I've been reading all of your input with great interest. All told,
would you say an insurance underwriter, if so educated, would raise
or lower premiums based on this anecdotal information? Seems as
though we have a superior fire rating as far as hours of safety go,
but our material poses a real problem for conventional firefighting
after all the humans and animals are safely out of the house.
Apologies for my lack of command of firefighting terminology.
Just got off the phone with Jeff Webb of the Boulder County Rural
Fire Department. The lead investigator was from the Boulder
Sheriff's office and reported to Jeff. Jeff said he was told it was
a pain in the butt to put out the fire because the walls were
smoldering and rather than being able to peel off drywall and/or
exterior sheathing and extinguish the fire without pulling down
structural members, the structural members themselves (the bales) had
to be pulled down, chopped apart and extinguished. Jeff bemoaned the
fact that more of the building had to be destroyed than if it were
conventionally built. Of course the firefighters knew nothing of Don
Fisher's sb fire extinguishing tool or method, and it would be hard
to convince any firefighter to leave a smoldering wall up and relying
solely on heat imaging technology.
It sounds like we have an immense education challenge ahead of us.
I shudder and lie awake at night to think what firefighters would do
to my structural hybrid sb home if I couldn't convince them to stay
calm and put out the sb portion of the fire slowly and with
precision. It makes me want to go out first thing tomorrow morning
and discuss this information with my local fire station and urge them
to buy Don Fisher's tool and barring that -- buy it for them. It
would be worth the $850. Can one of GSBN veterans tell me what the
protocol is on sharing information coming from this network? I guess
I feel the info is somewhat sensitive, agreed?
Regarding Martin's question about partnering for testing on earth
plastered sb walls, I think that the Colorado Straw Bale Association
by virtue of our mission statement is obligated to partner in this
endeavor. Let it be known, however, that we don't have a lot of
money and would need equitable partnership from all interested
parties. David E. or Bruce K., wouldn't you be the folks to
spearhead the actual testing, while the rest of us contributed
finances? Or would it be Don F.
Thanks to everyone for this very informative discussion.
Colorado Straw Bale Association
coloradostrawbale at yahoo.com
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