Back to School

June 1, 2008 By    

Flames shot 40 feet across the gravel lot to the edge of a singed tree line, hissing angrily and dancing in an ever-changing afternoon breeze.

“You don’t know how hot that flame is until the gas stream is three feet away,” testified Dave Alcorn, a bobtail driver for Southern Propane in Jacksonville, Fla., after his turn dousing the blaze. “You read about it in all the safety manuals, but it’s not nearly the same as experiencing it.”

Each marketer took a turn blasting a live propane fire with dry chemical extinguishers, all the while getting schooled about the fire’s “sweet spot” and how the chemical agent gets sucked into the fire’s vortex before it expands, burns and eventually smothers the flames.

Area propane marketers learn firsthand how to douse a raging gas fire by finding the "sweet spot" that the chemical agent can extinguish.
Area propane marketers learn firsthand how to douse a raging gas fire by finding the “sweet spot” that the chemical agent can extinguish.

“I think anyone who is in this business needs to do this,” Tom Mulligan of Mulligan Propane in Palatka, Fla., said afterward. “I got a lot more out of this than I thought I would. It was like someone hit a switch and you suddenly understand all the safety lessons that you have learned.”

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