Balloon Construction & Fire Blocking

1 Jan

In the chapter of the book talking about the prepper’s home, I introduced fireblocking, with a focus on basement remodeling and understanding the fundamental concept. Fireblocking is one of those topics that serious preppers should learn about.

For preppers living in homes made before 1945, it’s possible your home has “balloon construction” exterior-wall framing. In a fire, these homes are an absolute nightmare. Once a fire finds its way into a wall, it will spread rapidly from any level up into the roof.

Every winter, I see a news story about a home that goes up rapidly in flames where older home construction methods are blamed for the rapid spread of the fire. Balloon construction is the exact opposite of proper fire blocking.

This Old House explains balloon construction.
(I couldn’t get the video to play. I saw the program on TV when it aired). If your home has balloon construction, you should work to properly fire block it.

This pdf goes into detail about fire blocking basics. It has nice pictures to illustrate the concept.

This Youtube video (from derrich773) shows how small openings in wall cavities should be sealed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9_fHgUx3b0

As explained in the video, if fire finds its way into a wall cavity, the fire wants to consume oxygen. Openings around pipes and electrical wires create a path for air to flow into the fire, feeding the fire and pulling it into the wall cavity.

Charlie Palmer, author The Prepper Next Door.

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Fire safety is an important topic for preppers. Fires are most dangerous when we’re asleep. We have smoke detectors to wake us up. Here’s a neat story about Cluck Cluck the pet chicken, who woke up his owners and saved them from burning.

Here’s a nice article about winter driving on SurvivalLife.com. The biggest problem is that most people drive too fast in the winter and then lose control of their car. As the article says, if you lose control, you should try to steer in the direction you want to go. Keep these two things in mind and you’ll be safer than most people.

The majority of Americans are against an “assault weapons” ban.

Some 5’5″ lady pushed a guy onto subway tracks. While most preppers probably don’t take subways, this story provides a good lesson about self defense. Pay attention to your surroundings and personal space. If somebody is mumbling incoherently and then comes up behind you, you could be attacked. If you’re standing where somebody could bump into you and push you to your death, stand somewhere else.

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