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Thread: Fires occur mostly at night?

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    Default Fires occur mostly at night?

    I was thinking last night while mopping up that it seems like the majority of our working fires occur at night..I can only think of 2 or 3 that have happened durring day light hours.. Just wondering if you guys have noticed a similar trend..


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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Nope. In my 20+ years, both career and volunteer I have been to just as many daytime jobs as I have been to night time jobs. One of the worst I have ever been to in fact was a daytime gig, was driving the first-due truck to a townhouse fire. First in engine and us arrived at the same time to a 2 story middle of the row townhouse, extremely heavy fire first and second floors front, reported entrapment. Engine company (all off-duty Baltimore City guys) led off with a deuce and a half, and our boss and two firefighters followed them with (2) inch and three quarter lines, while I opened up. Pulled a mother and one child out. Mother was DOA, the kid got flown down to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, dont recall if he survived. 3:30 in the middle of the afternoon, with plenty of people at home in the surrounding homes. One in fact stated she had heard smoke detectors but ignored them "because they are always going off." I still get the chills about that job once in a while when I think about it.
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    With cooking fires counted, day time would probably win hands down. I think as firemen though, a lot of us don't count that as a "fire". You hit it with the can or blast it with the handline real quick and its out. At least in my experience day time fires generally are contained to the area of origin on our arrival, at night is when you get the ones that take a while and are "memorable". But I have been to some real ripping fires during the day, like buff was getting at, its hard to imagine how it got such a head start before someone saw it.

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    The trend I have noticed on my career FD is that most fires occur when my crew is off duty. Funny thing is with both of my POC FDs most fires occur when I am on duty at the career house or out of town.
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    I swear both of my gas grills can drop tones everytime you push the ignitor button.

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    I've seen structure fires at all hours of the day and night.

    Maybe we perceive that there are more at night because they get a head start on us and are thus bigger when we arrive.

    Or it could be that we just remember more night-time calls because those of us in the 9-5 world hit more of them.
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    In my 28 years I would say its been about even between day time and night time for fires, but every one I have been to involving fatalities has been at night

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    I was thinking last night while mopping up that it seems like the majority of our working fires occur at night..I can only think of 2 or 3 that have happened durring day light hours.. Just wondering if you guys have noticed a similar trend..
    No, not really.

    For the most part, in my department (small career) we do a callback of off-duty personnel for working fires. I've been tracking these incidents for the last 7 years to look at various trends regarding things like when the fires occur, now many off-duty personnel responded among other things.

    During that time period, I found that our fires are fairly evenly divided among the 8a-4p, 4p-12a and 12a-8a segments. The overnight segment had the most (about 38%), daylight was next (about 32%) followed by the evening segment (about 30%). We do tend to see more arson fires at night vs the daytime.

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    My FD's last major multiple alarm fires (8 alarms for an apartments over commercial on Main Street in July 2011, 6 alarms for a condo builfing fire in April of 2012) occured during daytime hours.
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    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    I would say that it seems as if most of our working fires occur at least after dark. Statistically, I could be wrong and maybe it just seems that way
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    I think the key feature is when things are unattended--cooking, heating, candles, etc. That typically happens during the night, when occupants are snoozing, and during working hours, when occupants are at work.

    I think from the time people arrive home from work until bedtime is the slowest for us.
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    In the few years I have been on our Volly, I have only had 2 structure fires at night.

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    The only thing I know is that most of the fire and MVA calls at my old department occurred early morning weekdays, around 8-9 am. Being a volunteer fire department that was when we had the fewest personnel available to answer the calls (everybody working/dropping off kids at school and so on) so you often had to do the job with less hands or call in mutual aid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KennyTheFireGuy View Post
    In the few years I have been on our Volly, I have only had 2 structure fires at night.
    but you are still in the 4th grade right ? give it time
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    but you are still in the 4th grade right ? give it time
    The upshot is that he dies every day only to wake up in his bed and nobody is wise to it. ?Mysterion?
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    Griff, Where are you located? Your local to me...

    In my short 5 years in the fire service, I'm going to have to agree with your opinion. Locally, I'd say a good 70% of the working fire's I've been on, have been between the hours of 5pm-7am. I couldn't tell you why. Maybe because during these hours, people are home to burn food, and screw up, as opposed to being at work not catching their house on fire? haha. No seriously I have no idea...
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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    Im guessing everybody is refering to structure fire. In my experence , it all evens out year to year.
    Now wildland fires, a different animal. Time of day makes a big difference.
    ?

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    In my experience, it is pretty even, but as one poster noted, the majority of my fatal fires have been at night.

    In addittion, I would say that as a rule late night fires tend to be larger and more destructive than daytime or evening fires, probably because of the delayed detection and the accerlated state of the fire when they are detected. That probably gives the perception that most fires occur at night.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Shocked to agree with LA, but as fires go we see more kitchen or room and contence fires in the day, your larger fires at night. Would agree that it mostly deals with detection, either by the resident or passerby.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picc.93Truck View Post
    Griff, Where are you located? Your local to me...

    In my short 5 years in the fire service, I'm going to have to agree with your opinion. Locally, I'd say a good 70% of the working fire's I've been on, have been between the hours of 5pm-7am. I couldn't tell you why. Maybe because during these hours, people are home to burn food, and screw up, as opposed to being at work not catching their house on fire? haha. No seriously I have no idea...
    Next to the army depot... We had 6 workers last week.. 5 first due. 4 arsons in 24 hours..
    Chimney fire with extension to dwelling and basement fire frida night... We've had a dry spell this year but were making up for it now...

    I think that in 2 years we've had maybe 7 fires daytime and 18-20 at night..

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