Fire & Emergency Careers, And Fire Safety Info/General Fire Safety

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Just wanted some tips on after care after outing a paper burning fire.

I had a lot of documents I wanted to get rid of yesterday, I realise I should of got a shredder but wanted rid of them there and then, so I nabbed my steel bin dragged it into the kitchen and dumped the papers inside and cremated them. Sadly I forgot to remove the bin bag attached to the outside, it melted, and while I was confident with controlling the burning I had completely overlooked that there would be smoke, and there was A LOT of it, having finished and aired out the room it still smells like smoke, it also has an acrid odor and a yellow residue on a lot of the surfaces, I didn't smell much better at the time and the left side of my chest hurts a little (it's a similar sensation you get to when you feel something stuck in your throat--only in my chest.

Anyway while I look into getting a shredder are there any health and safety actions and precautions I should be taking, especially with regards to ridding the smell and approaching removing that yellow residue?

Answer
Hello Anna sounds like you had a bit of a problem. First of all I would caution anyone on burning indoors, but I'm sure I don't have to with you now. That smoke that you breathed in has some very nasty stuff in it. Plastics put off all sorts of things. I would not be too concerned with the one time exposure but it's always a good idea to let the doc listen and look at your lungs. As firefighters we try not to inspire any of that stuff but at times it's impossible. Studies have found that the more toxins are produced from a fire that is smoldering and is just putting off games. In other words a burning fire is in some ways safer than one that is out.
You'll have difficulty getting rid of the smell. I would recommend scrubbing all surfaces and repainting those areas that you can. The smell will eventually dissipate.  

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I possess the ability and willingness to assist those who may be or have family members seeking a future in the fire service or anyone seeking general information relating to promotional opportunities, general fire safety or any other similiar topics.

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34 year veteran with the City of Overland Park Kansas Fire Department.

Overland Park,a large suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, is the second most populous city in Kansas with a population of 166,000

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Overland Park ranks as one of the most progressive departments, as well as cities, in the United States. In 2006 CNN/Money Magazine ranked it 6th on it's "100 Best Cities to live in the United States". A recent 2007 article by National Geographic Magazine lists Overland Park as one of the top 50 US destinations.

Our department seems to grow daily and currently staffs approximately 160 paid fire and EMS personnel covering 69 square miles of territory with five stations. Our training facility is nothing less than state of the art with live computer controlled burn props on several floors of it's five story tower. A recently added Command and Control Center has added a new dimension to our regional wide response to large incidents.

I currently carry the rank of Captain/EMT. To this day I totally love my job and department as well as those individuals I work with. My family members include three brothers in the fire service as well as three in law enforcement. My father was a fire chief with a midwest fire department before he retired after 32 years of service.
I am willing and able to answer questions on any fire/EMS related subject you may have. I can help with questions related to entry level testing as well as the physical agility and the interview process. I will do my best to answer any and all questions to your satisfaction in a timely manner.

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Command and Control of Target Hazards / National Fire Academy, NFA Company Officer response to Terriosm Incidents

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