Fire Prevention and FAQ

For information about fire prevention and fire safety topics, see the pages below. Additional information may also be found in our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I get a copy of a fire incident report?

Call the Fire Marshall’s office at (610)825-3535.

How can I become a part of Barren Hill Volunteer Fire Co?

You can email the Membership Committee Chair, call (610) 825-2250 or fill out our on-line membership application.

How can I find out about Fire Safety?

You may visit our Fire Prevention page or call (610) 825-2250.

Is counseling available if my child is setting fires?

Yes, call the Fire Marshall’s Office at (610)825-3535.

Where can I find out about CPR classes?

CPR is taught by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.

How can I schedule a fire truck or a firefighter at my function?

E-mail the webmaster or call the Fire Company at (610)825-2250.

Who do I call about a fire extinguisher that doesn’t work?

Look in the Yellow Pages under fire extinguisher or fire extinguishing systems.

When an emergency vehicle is approaching that is displaying emergency lights and sirens, what should I do?

By Pennsylvania law, you are required to pull to the right and stop. This allows fire apparatus adequate and clear lanes to safely and quickly continue its response.

Why do so many fire apparatus respond to simple incidents?

Fire Company units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 operator. The Barren Hill Fire Company thinks overcautiously when they respond to citizens in need of help. In other words, the firefighters are prepared to deal with the worst that could happen. Discovering that we need more units once we arrive is often too late. Its usually better to have too much help than not enough.

A structure fire requires a number of people to do all the assigned tasks. Firefighting teams are assigned certain responsibilities such as fire extinguishments, search and rescue, ventilation, salvage, safety, accountability and rapid intervention teams when firefighters become trapped or injured.

How come I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down?

As explained in the previous answer, sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident. The first unit may have arrived on the scene, assessed the situation and informed the dispatcher that the situation was under control or that a single unit could handle the emergency. All other responding units were cancelled and put back into service, ready to take another call.
Most likely, canceledsee an emergency vehicle with red lights and siren through an intersection and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been cancelled from the call they were responding to.

Why do I see firefighters cutting holes in the roof of a building on fire?

This is called “venting the roof.” There are two basic reasons for this practice. Dangerous gases and dark smoke accumulate in a burning building. Unlike the movie versions of fires, it is impossible for firefighters to see in such an environment. When a hole is made in the roof because the building is “vented,” the smoke and gases escape because heat and smoke rise. It makes it much easier for the firefighters in the building to see. It also reduces the possibilities of backdraft (explosion) and flashover. Another reason for venting the roof is to see how far the fire has progressed. One of the fastest avenues through which fires spread is the attic. Heat and smoke rise into the attic where the fire can move quickly. Firefighters may go ahead of the fire on a roof, cut holes to access the attic and stop the fire from spreading through the attic.

Why do I see firefighters breaking windows in a building on fire?

As mentioned in the statement above, dangerous superheated gases need to be ventilated to allow firefighters to safely and quickly rescue trapped occupants and extinguish the fire. By venting the window of a room that is on fire, it actually helps to contain the fire within that room of origin. Otherwise heated gases spread throughout the inside of the house. Breaking the window really prevents a great deal more damage than it appears to cause.

Why do fire trucks respond to motor vehicle accidents?

Two reasons. First, automobile accidents present other hazards such as potential fire, ruptured fuel tanks, and/or the presence of hazardous materials. Second, firefighters are trained in extricating (removing) trapped occupants of the vehicle.