For Fire Emergencies
The primary responsibility of Fire Suppression is saving lives and
protecting property of the people of Carpentersville and the
Carpentersville & Countryside Fire Protection District.
The fire engine typically arrives at the scene of a fire to lead out
hose lines that direct water at the seat of the fire. Engines are also
used to pump water in ladder trucks for large fires.
The crew of the tower ladder is responsible for searching a structure
for any remaining occupants, as well as providing ventilation to help
the attack crew entering the structure. This company also shuts off the
electric and natural gas.
As stated, a very important job is ventilation. This is done by breaking
windows, doors, and sawing through the roof.
It is often misunderstood by the public what purpose is served by taking
these actions; ventilation is extremely important in the successful
extinguishment of fire. As fire burns fuel, it releases a variety of
toxic gases that remain aloft in ceiling or attic spaces and open areas
of the structure. These gases are incompletely burned, but may be
re-ignited and present a dangerous and explosive condition when oxygen
is re-introduced to the space, which they occupy. When these gases do
explode, the phenomenon is referred to as a “Backdraft”. Ventilation
allows the evacuation of these gases and the accompanying smoke,
lessening the danger of a potential explosion and allowing the
firefighter to see and complete the primary goal of search and rescue.
The use of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is a mandatory
policy of the department for all internal firefighting procedures. The
SCBA is a vital piece of equipment, which allows the firefighter to
operate in the presence of toxic-filled environments. The SCBA’s are
filled with compressed air and will last for 20 to 30 minutes before a
refill is required.
Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared to storms
such as hurricanes and tornadoes. A typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in
diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Approximately 1800
thunderstorms are occurring at any moment around the world, with 50 to
100 discharges per second from all of these storms. The National Weather
Service considers a thunderstorm severe if it produces hail at least ¾
inch in diameter, winds 58 mph or higher, or tornadoes. Thunderstorms
usually occur in the late spring and summer months and during the
afternoon and evening hours, but can occur year-round and at all hours.
The average number of thunderstorm days in Illinois is 30 to 50 per
Despite their relatively small size, all thunderstorms are dangerous.
Thunderstorms can lead to other problems such as flash flooding, strong
winds, and hail. Hail is formed by strong rising currents of air within
a storm, called updrafts, which carry water droplets to a height where
freezing occurs. The ice particles grow in size, finally becoming too
heavy to be supported by the updraft and fall to the ground. Large
hailstones fall at speeds faster than 100 mph. Thunderstorms also
produce downbursts or "micro bursts". A downburst is a small area
rapidly descending air beneath a thunderstorm. Downbursts can cause
damaging winds in excess of 100 mph.
One of the most dangerous and well know effects of a thunderstorm is
lighting. Lighting occurs with all thunderstorms. A cumulonimbus cloud,
or thunderhead generates positive and negative charges. Lighting is the
result of a sudden discharge of the electrical potential. Temperatures
reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (hotter than the surface of the sun) in
a split second and are accompanied by the bright flash of light. This
streak of powerful electrical charge and intense heat can produce
electrocute on contact, vaporize anything in its path, rip apart trees,
set fires, and cause electrical failures.
About 100 million in annual losses result from forest and building fires
caused by lighting. Power systems are especially vulnerable to power
surges, resulting in equipment failure and especially the disruption of
delicate equipment. Lighting may also strike airplanes and damage on
board computers. It can damage plugged in home appliances as well.
Lighting is responsible for approximately 150 to 200 deaths per year.
Most of these are single events and result in direct hits. Over two
third of all lighting deaths happen in the afternoon. Twenty percent
occur between 6 p.m. and midnight. Your chances of being struck by
lighting are about 1 in 600,000 but could be reduced by following some
basic safety rules.
WHAT TO LISTEN FOR:
- A severe thunderstorm watch tells you when and where the severe
thunderstorms are most likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to
know when warnings are issued. Watches are intended to heighten public
awareness and should not be confused with warnings.
- A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when severe weather has been
reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent
danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.
WHEN THUNDERSTORMS APPROACH:
- If you hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck
by lighting. Go to safe shelter immediately.
- Move to a sturdy building or car. Do not take shelter in small sheds,
under isolated trees or in convertible automobiles.
- Get out of boats and away from water.
- Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug
appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using
the phone or any electrical appliances.
- Do not take a bath or shower.
- Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lighting can overload the
IF CAUGHT OUTSIDE AND NO SHELTER IS NEARBY:
- Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles.
- If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
- If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the
ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees with
your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible, and
minimize your contact with the ground.
One of the most furious and devastating quirks of nature is a
tornado. Tornadoes are created by thunderstorms that develop in warm,
moist air in advance of eastward-moving cold fronts. These thunderstorms
often produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes. A violent tornado
can generate winds with speeds greater than 205 mph and their duration
can exceed 1 hour. In Illinois, peak tornado occurrence is in April
through June. Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3:00 and 9:00
pm, but have been known to occur at all hours of the day or night.
The Village of Carpentersville has taken measures to help protect its
citizens by installing an Outdoor Warning Siren System to provide early
warning of impending severe weather conditions. This system is comprised
of four sirens located strategically throughout the city. These sirens
produce 127 decibels and rotate 360 degrees. The sirens emit 2 different
tones. A steady tone indicates a weather alert and an intermittent tone
indicates an attack alert (in times of war). The weather alert will be
activated if a funnel cloud or tornado has been sighted, or confirmed
by a local law enforcement official or a trained weather spotter, within
5 miles of Carpentersville and is headed in our direction.
The Village of Carpentersville tests the system on the first Tuesday of
each month at 10 am as required by State of Illinois Guidelines.
The National Weather Service tracks all weather systems with
sophisticated radar and are usually able to give adequate warning of
violent weather conditions.
A “ tornado watch” means conditions are right for a tornado to develop.
When a tornado watch is issued, listen to broadcast advisories and be
ready to take cover. It is a good idea to have a battery-powered light
available and have family members within earshot. You may wish to move
vehicles into the garage or carport and move yard furniture inside.
A “tornado warning” means that a tornado has actually been sighted. In
the event of a tornado warning, you should immediately take shelter
inside a structure. The majority of injuries and deaths resulting from
tornadoes are caused by flying debris. Each year, many people are killed
or seriously injured by tornados despite advance warning. Some did not
hear the warning while others received the warning but did not believe a
tornado would actually affect them. After you have received the warning
or observed threatening weather conditions, you must make the decision
to seek shelter before the storm arrives. For further protection, move
to a basement if available. Get underneath a heavy table or workbench if
possible. If you have no basement, take cover in small, windowless
interior rooms on the lowest level, such as closets or bathrooms. If
you’re in an office building or school, protect yourself in an interior
hallway or a lower floor and stay away from windows. Avoid auditoriums
or gymnasiums or other structures with wide, free span roofs. If you are
outside and shelter is not available, lay down in a ditch, ravine or
culvert. If you are in your vehicle, do not try to outrun the tornado:
instead, leave it immediately.
Most importantly, PLAN AHEAD! Learn the safest places to seek shelter at
home, in school, or in the workplace, and have a plan in place BEFORE a
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