Fighting Fires

Having fun in the parking lot, putting out fires. SparkFun gets trained on how to use a fire extinguisher. Plus, two new classes and a few new products.

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Trevor, the SparkFun COO, arranged for SimplexGrinnell to come out and teach the SparkFun gang how to operate a fire extinguisher.

Do normal companies do this? Is SparkFun a 'normal' company now? I dunno, but it made for a fun 30 minute break from work!

 We had nearly 25 fully charged extinguishers just beckoning us...


John did a fantastic job of showing us what to do, and kept the fire blazing (a small bowl of gasoline).

Dan's killing it!

Charlie taking care of the fire. We didn't even shoot John once!

Chris taking care of the fire. Notice the beautiful mountains in the background, and the somewhat large cloud of sodium bicarbonate in the foreground floating towards our neighbors. The white power had a way of covering everything with a fine layer of, well, white powder. Sorry neighbors!

Hanging out waiting for my turn, we quickly realized that no one in the group had ever fired an extinguisher before. It was always one of those mysterious things that we're taught to not touch, but use only in the case of dire emergency. This class was a great chance to actually play with a extinguisher and realize how it reacts. It's not too big of a deal once you've fired one, but boy was it fun.


Did we mention we love to teach! On April 1st (no joke) at 5pm we are having a SMD soldering class here at SparkFun.  Come learn to solder and rework like a real pro. All skill levels are welcome to attend. If you are not able to make it, be sure to check out our SMD soldering tutorials!


Our next lecture is on May 6th at 5pm here at SparkFun. This class will focus on the parts procurement process. This is a broad topic that will include, but is not limited to: how to read datasheets, finding sources, component packaging terminology, and ordering information.


We have two new dual axis gyro breakout boards. One is the IDG500 which is replacing all of the boards that use the IDG300. And the other one is the IDG1215, which has a high sensitivity of 15mV/degree/second.

If you didn't know, we stock the touch screens that work with the Nintendo DS and PSP LCD. Now, we stock the connectors for both of them. Both are very easy to interface to an ADC and use a simple 4 pin connector to resolve x-axis and y-axis positions. Breakout boards coming soon.

Always remember to check out our dings and dents category for great buys!

Comments 10 comments

  • Member #49609 / about 13 years ago / 1

    So when are those breakout boards for the touch screen connectors going to come? (hate to nag, but it's a tad hard to solder for those of us who do more software than soldering.

  • EBeamBob / about 13 years ago / 1

    Not to brag, but like pretty much everyone in the Navy, I (an EE) got to go to a basic firefighting school. Because at sea, the fire department is, well, you. :)

    • Robban / about 13 years ago / 1

      I wasn't in the navy but I did my military service at a naval base and got to play around with fire a bit as well. Have to say that standing right next to and trying to put out a big pool (about 3x5m IIRC) filled with diesel set ablaze is quite an experience. For someone who hasn't been close to a big fire like that before it really puts things in perspective, the heat is just tremendous.

      • trevor / about 13 years ago / 1

        John promised that next year we would be putting out a larger diesel fire.

        • trevor / about 13 years ago / 1

          Although I don't think the Boulder Fire Department would be too happy about a 3m x 5m pool of diesel on fire in our back parking lot, even if it is a controlled burn, so larger just means larger than this year!

    • No fair! We had to hire it out. EE's spend far too much time thinking about things and doing very little. It was fantastic to actually get to pull the pin and make a mess.

  • Calif / about 13 years ago / 1

    Parts procurement can be summarized in 3 words: move to China.

  • RoboScience / about 13 years ago / 1

    Most large companies do, but thats a wussy fire to put out. I worked for a box factory ( yes a cardboard box factory just like on the simpsons). we had to put out a fire 10feet in diameter. That was fun.

    • Occam / about 13 years ago / 1

      Yes ... you'll probably see other types of training in your company future: other safety/emergency training, anti-harassment training, business ethics training, etc. Your insurers may require this to minimize risk. You need it to avoid law suits from negligence. Your HR person should know all this stuff.
      Hook up with some company that can provide all the required training ... your insurance agent can probably make recommendations.
      Welcome to the the modern business reality.

  • CalebHC / about 13 years ago / 1

    That does look like fun. Hopefully, you guys never have to use one, but in case there ever is a fire, you guys are pros now. Especially the picture of that guy putting the fire out behind his back. Fancy :)

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