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​​Property Fires

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service respond to fires in all types of property in all areas. Below you will find details of the type of fires we can expect to attend on a daily basis. 

These can include domestic property fires, which may have been caused from leaving the gas on to an ill-extinguished cigarette, to industrial and agricultural fires which break out in much larger scale buildings.
 

When we receive reports of a fire in a property, two fire appliances are dispatched to deal with the incident. On each appliance there will be four to six fire fighters. The majority of property fires we attend are contained to the room of origin; however some fires can consume entire buildings.

When a fire occurs in a rural area, the Service has a four wheel drive Rural Response Pump. This vehicle can attend properties with difficult access such as narrow lanes or in the event of difficult weather conditions such as snow. Property fires in our area are attended initially by two service vehicles and an officer in a car or 4x4 vehicle.​ On attending the incident, the Officer in charge decides whether extra resources, equipment or personnel are required. They can request either more of the above or a special appliance​. Specialist appliances are used to perform a specific task which will assist the crews in controlling and extinguishing the fire.​ Link to the equipment and service vehicle pages - http://w3.mawwfire.gov.uk/English/About/What-We-Do/Pages/Response/Service-Vehicles-and-Equipment.aspx​ for more information.

To extinguish a fire, fire-fighters wearing full protective fire fighting kit which includes breathing apparatus will enter the building with a hose reel jet. They will also carry a thermal image camera which is used to locate the fire and to search for persons who may be in the building.

When the fire is extinguished, it is essential that we ventilate the property to clear the smoke. In order to achieve this our appliances carry positive pressure ventilation fans. These powerful fans enable smoke and heat to be removed from the property extremely quickly. They also enable fire crews to asses the damage and check for any “hot spots” that are left after the fire.

Our final action involves carrying out a “Hot Strike”, which highlights the risks of fire in neighbouring areas. Where necessary fire crews will carry out a Home Fire Safety Check.

There are occasions where a fire will occur in large commercial buildings and a major fire will result. At these incidents fire appliances from many fire stations will be involved in fighting the fire, and we may use or aerial appliances to pour water into the building. At these fires our primary objectives are to extinguish the fire and prevent it spreading to other premises.

These fires require a lot of water to extinguish them. Our fire appliances use water from the water mains via a hydrant and to assist with the supply of water we have High Volume Pumps that can pump water from open water sources such as rivers for over a mile.

At large fires we have to ensure that we do everything possible to protect the environment from the products that the fire produces, and the water that runs off the fire can cause harm. Where possible we will re use this potentially contaminated water to put back onto the fire which mitigates the damage to the environment and preserves the water supply chain.

Commercial premises may have already been identified through operational intelligence gathering as requiring more than two appliances. Fire control will have a record of this and will mobilise the correct number of appliances and special appliances required. Typically most commercial premises require a large supply of water so the High Volume Pumps based at Ammanford and Newtown Stations can be mobilised.

High rise buildings require the use of dry or wet risers. Theses are mains which can be accessed by crews at each floor of the building. They are charged or pressurised by the appliance on the ground floor and the accessed by the crews providing a water supply to fight the fire. An Aerial appliance can also be an excellent tool to utilise at high rise properties.

The Service area covers a vast rural area of Wales and as such we are called to numerous incidents involving farms; machinery and animals. We have a number of schemes that have been developed to assist in the reduction of incidents in the rural community.

The service can assist farmers in preventing barn fires with the use of temperature probes. Where a farmer is concerned that the temperature in a hay stack could cause a fire we are able to use a hay barn probe to measure the heat inside the stack, the farmer can then take steps to cool the stack by separating the bales.

When a barn does catch fire extinguishing it is a long and arduous task that involves separating the burning bales of hay and extinguishing them. Our firefighters have to be conscious of the additional risks involved with the storage of chemicals and pesticides and ensure that these and other items do not become involved in the fire.

It is a cliché that the fire service rescues cats from tree's but for a rural service the reality is that we do get called to rescue a variety of animals from domestic cats, to farm animals weighing up to a two tonne. Animal rescues can be complex and lengthy operations and our crews have been trained for a variety of these situations for which we will always take advice and guidance from specialists such as vets.