Friday, March 19, 2010

Hold the Mayo. It Was Bound to Happen. Fire Protection

The main hospital rises 5 floors above the surrounding desert.

The good news from Mayo is that I am very hip. Plenty of hip to last for a long time. I seems as though the pain in my left hip was truly a pain in the butt. After an X-ray, an MRI, an exam by an orthopedic surgeon and an exam by a neurologist specializing in physical medicine and rehabitation, the worst they could find is that I need some physical therapy. I am a very lucky guy. I will have four sessions with a therapist starting March 31 and then re-evaluate.

Yesterday Sandy and I got up early to beat rush hour traffic so that I could go to the Scottsdale Campus of Mayo for the MRI. Not only did we beat the rush hour traffic, we were the first ones at the clinic. Now, I need to digress. We are retired. The exact time is no longer critical to us. We no longer know when it is, for example, 5:30 because the evening news is on from New York because we can choose to watch the evening news from either the East or West Coast feeds

So, when the Check-In desk opened at Mayo, the nice young man behind the counter said we were way too early. Turns out we didn’t get the memo explaining that Arizona does not have Daylight Savings Time. We had 90 minutes to kill. Fortunately, I brought along my latest book: “Mint Condition”, authored by Dave Jamieson and edited by Jamison Stoltz. Jamison is my youngest son, who was just promoted to editor at Grove /Atlantic in New York City. The book is much more interesting than I anticipated in that it describes the history of baseball cards going back to the Civil War. The characters who propelled card collecting to what it was in its heyday are fascinating.

Now I need to transition from card collecting to Fire Safety – Part 2

Photos was taken from foot of bed looking out the rear access door of the engine compartment.

On the average, there are not many fires in motorhomes caused by the diesel engine. But when there is one, the occupants generally have about 30 or 40 seconds to get out alive. Sandy and I don’t want to deal with a 40-second panic escape so we bought and installed a Fire Suppression System in the engine compartment. It was not a slam dunk and required two trips to Ace Hardware, but with Sandy's good help we got it done. 

We removed the mattress from the bed. We determined the correct place to install the device. I drilled 4 holes and then we bolted the Suppression System in the space under the bed. The space under the bed IS in the engine compartment. So the extinguisher is actually hanging from the ceiling of the engine compartment about 10 inches above the engine.

This extinguisher is a foam cold fire engine compartment suppressor. It is activated at 286 degrees Fahrenheit and has no moving parts. The foam will extinguish both electrical and fuel-fed fires.

While there are not many fires in diesel engine compartments there are lot of fires caused by the type of refrigerator used in RVs.  RV refrigerators are built to run off of propane and electric. The two companies that have built probably 95 percent of all RV refrigerators have recalled hundreds of thousands of this dual energy fridge. Recalls of this magnitude do not exactly engender confidence. So, with safety in mind, we also bought and installed a smaller fire suppression system for the refrigerator. All propane/electric refrigerators have an exterior access panel on the side of the RV or motorhome. This is where the extinguisher was mounted.

This is the access compartment for our refrigerator.  The extinguisher is about 12 inches long and is mounted in a horizontal position. Both extinguishers are Made in America.
All I had to do was remove the panel and apply two strips of industrial strength Velcro and then set the unit in place. Installation took five minutes.

We certainly have more peace of mind and feel safer whether driving down the road or being parked in campgrounds.

Stay tuned.


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