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View Full Version : Why call 911 for a flooded basement?


boffking
08-14-2014, 02:13 PM
There were historical flash floods here last night, and I heard close to 100 people called 911 because their basements were flooded. Why? Don't people think the police and fire departments have far more important things to worry about during a flood then somebody's basement? It seems to me like those calls would cost lives by wasting the dispatcher's time and tying up the phone lines.

Revtim
08-14-2014, 02:15 PM
People were apparently calling 911 because Facebook was down a couple weeks ago. A lot of people are dumbasses.

running coach
08-14-2014, 02:26 PM
Why else would the fire department have a pumper truck? :D

Squink
08-14-2014, 02:42 PM
Why?Because water is rapidly creeping up on that old 500 Lb barrel of Calcium Carbide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbide_lamp) dad kept from his coal mining days?

electronbee
08-15-2014, 03:05 AM
IIRC, the fire department also has dewatering equipment. If they'd actually perform this operation for something other than fighting a fire, I dunno.

Also, you might need a police report or something official for insurance.

Panic?

kambuckta
08-15-2014, 04:09 AM
A lot of people are dumbasses.

^ This

Lord Feldon
08-15-2014, 05:09 AM
http://www.pressherald.com/2014/08/15/hardware-stores-and-cleanup-services-deal-with-their-own-deluge-of-home-and-office-owners-looking-to-dry-out/

Fire crews were hit with dozens of calls from homeowners whose basements were filling up rapidly. Kevin Guimond, South Portland’s fire chief, said his department doesn’t pump out flooded basements, but to prevent electrical shorts it will turn off circuits if the water reaches the height of outlets.

So, there's one reason. And "his department" seems to imply that some fire departments do pump out flooded basement. So that would be another reason in other locations.

911 is the number you use when you need help from the fire department right now (as opposed to help that can be scheduled, like testing an alarm system or getting an inspection done).

kopek
08-15-2014, 11:44 AM
I'm the average person of X age (possibly old or young) and suddenly my basement is flooding for the first time in my life. What if it "puts out" the hot water heater and gas fills the house? What if it hits my wiring or fuse box? Can that start a fire? Are there other dangers I can't even imagine such as raw sewage? I could call two or three different service providers, hope to get a human to answer my question -- but they are probably busy as well. So since it is an emergency, at least to me, I hit the one place I know I will get an actual human - 911.

Dumb person? Maybe. But I can see their point of view.

Gbro
08-15-2014, 09:02 PM
The Fire Department i served on has pumped out many many basements over the years. Sewage backup was the primary cause.
Firefighters are all about helping those in need even when something stupid is done.
What if it "puts out" the hot water heater and gas fills the house?
Not going to say this is imposable, but gas appliances have safety features that serve to keep this from happening. A thermocouple safety valve shuts down gas flow when heat is lost.
What if it hits my wiring or fuse box? Can that start a fire? Are there other dangers
electrocution is the top concern here,

kopek
08-16-2014, 10:29 PM
The Fire Department i served on has pumped out many many basements over the years. Sewage backup was the primary cause.


So did the VFD I was wit. Although we were lucky; not one of the ones I went on was sewage. Flash run-off, basement garages with sloping entrances, and a couple problem streams were our issues.

I wasn't trying to give a lit of valid reasons so much as a compilation of some of the thinking I came across.

carnut
08-16-2014, 10:40 PM
Fire departments hereabouts do help pump out basements but during a flash flood the demand is usually higher than they can handle. Earlier this summer, my brother resorted to paying for rental equipment because the water seeped in to everyone's basement for 3-4 days. The fire department and neighboring fire trucks were very busy. The flooding overwhelmed everyone's sump pumps.