The Divali celebrations across the country as usual have witness few unfortunate incidents of fire accidents. these accidents were a result of fired crackers falling on conburstible material. Fire accidents or a routine occarance in our daily life. This article analyses reasons for fire accidents and suggests suitable ways and means to prevent them and control them if failed to do so.
“ It is with our passions as it is with fire and water; they are good servants,
- but bad masters. ~Roger L’Estrange, Aesop’s Fables, ”
. Firefighting is a very important job. But if you think about it, fire prevention is even more crucial. Before you learn how to fight fire, you must first learn how to prevent one.
Types of Fire
|Fires are classified according to the type of fuel that is burning.|
|The four different fire classifications are|
|(Wood, Paper, Cloth, Trash, Plastic)
Solid Combustible material that are not metals
This type of fire generally leaves an ash.
|(Flammable liquids like petrol,diesel,kerosene,oilsl, grease, acetone)
Any non-metal in a liquid state on fire This type of fire involves materials that boil or bubble.
|(Electrical: Energized electrical equipment)
This type of fire generally deals with an electrical current.
|(Metals: Sodium, Aluminum, Potassium, Magnesium,Zirconium)|
MAJOR CAUSES OF FIRES
Fire protection doesn’t have to be difficult. Even the simplest things can help to save. Following are the major causes of the fires.
Smoking is one of the most common causes of fire outbreaks in homes, offices and even in public areas. Discarded cigarettes that are not properly extinguished can easily re-ignite and result in a disastrous fire accident.
It is bad enough that you are endangering your health with smoking but it is even worse that this activity can cause a fire tragedy that can result in deaths, injuries, and damages to properties. This is why, quitting is your best bet to avoid fires caused by smoking.
Now, if you do not have any plans on doing so, you should at least avoid smoking in bed or before sleeping because you can fall asleep and your sheets can instantly turn into flames. You should also make sure that you douse your cigarettes in water before disposal so that they will not re-ignite.
2) Residential fire in the kitchen
The kitchen is one of the parts of the house where a fire usually starts. This is because cooking involves the use of flames and flammable materials such as oil and gas. Because of this, it is necessary to always practice caution whenever you are inside the kitchen.
Heating is major cause of residential fire deaths.
Another cause of residential fires is cooking, but not due to defective stoves or ovens. Often, it is because of unattended pots or the burner being left on accidentally -and who hasn’t done that at least once or twice?
How is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
3) Hazardous materials & Accidents
Materials that can be considered as fire hazards include flammable liquids and gases, paints, adhesives and most types of chemicals. Because of this, it is necessary that you store these materials in safe places. Children should never be able to reach these hazardous goods.
It is also good to remember what types of fire extinguisher are suitable for fires that involve these materials. For example, for overheated flammable gases such as methane, butane or propane, it is appropriate to use dry powder fire extinguisher. Foam fire extinguishers meanwhile are suitable for overheated flammable liquids such as petrol, oil or paints.
The major cause of fire deaths in private residences is accidents such as leaving a curling iron on, an electric blanket, or a dropped cigarette or an electric heater too close to flammable material.
Candles especially scented ones are usually used around the house as decorative elements. However, they can also be a cause of fire accidents. This is why, it is imperative to be careful when lighting up candles. Never leave burning candles unattended. Avoid placing them near air vents, windows or drafts.
Put them in places that are out of children’s and pet’s reach. Children should never be allowed to play with candles, matches, lighters or anything that can start a fire. Candles can be a beautiful addition to one’s home but improper use of these decors can do more harm than good to your house.
5) Electrical Wiring, Electrical Outlets, Appliances and Faulty Wiring
Unsafe electrical conditions that can be fire hazards include damaged electrical conductors, overloaded sockets and extension cords, faulty wirings, blown fuses, low quality electrical equipment, malfunction of electrical devices, loose electrical connections, and lack of clearance between electrical heating devices and combustible materials.
To avoid electrical fires, use only high quality electrical equipment. Check appliances regularly to see if there are any damaged parts or cords. Never overload electrical sockets or extension cords. Use electrical heating equipment a good distance away from combustibles.
It is also necessary to note that electrical fires can only be extinguished by a CO2 fire extinguisher. Using the wrong type of fire extinguisher can result in disastrous consequences. For instance, using a water fire extinguisher can cause electrocution.
Whether it’s in an electrical outlet or a short in the wall, many fires are caused by electrical wiring. Older homes are particularly susceptible. Many homes that were built in the 50′s -70′s have aluminum wiring that increases the chance of fire.
Lamps, toasters and even baby monitors can short out. Be particularly careful with older appliances and extension cords. Even new appliances can be the source of a home fire. To be safe, appliances should be unplugged when not in use. Unfortunately, not all appliances can be unplugged, leaving your home at risk 24 hours a day.
6) Heating devices and fire places
Careless use of heating devices such as clothes iron, space heater, water heater, hair iron and others can result in a fire outbreak. When using any appliance that has a heating element, it is essential that you never leave it unattended. You should also never forget to turn it off and unplug it after use. Moreover, avoid placing these appliances near sources of heat like the stove, fireplace, or furnace.
Nonelectric space heaters such as those that utilize gas or kerosene can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Installing a carbon monoxide alarmin your home can be your best defense against this possible incident.
Children Playing with Matches
Children and grandchildren playing with matches are a major source of home fires. According to the Burn Awareness Coalition, burns are the number one cause of accidental deaths in children under two, fire and burn injuries are the second leading cause of accidental deaths in children ages 1-4, and the third leading cause of injury and death for ages 1-18. Matches and lighters in the hands of young children are a significant factor in fire fatalities. Educating parents and grandparents to the seriousness of this issue is paramount.
Accumulation of rubbish in the attic, basement or garage is also a fire waiting to happen. If possible, dispose of those that you do not need anymore.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS FOR THE PREVENTION OF FIRE
Man is the only creature that dares to light a fire and live with it. The reason? Because he alone has learned to put it out. ~Henry Jackson Vandyke, Jr.
- Fire Safety: Do Not Fight The Fire!
Studies show that most home fires are faulty electricity related. How safe is your home from fire? How safe is your family? Do you have the necessary gadgets fire prevention gadgets?
- Recommended Fire Extinguishers You Must Have
The most essential fire equipment your building must have is a fire extinguisher. All industrial, commercial, accommodation, and health care facilities are required to have fire equipments.
- Tips On Fire Prevention
Prevention means preparation. Fire prevention means enough preparation in case of fire accident. Some of the things that should be available at hand in times of fire emergency are a fire blanket,etc
Among the notable things about fire is that it also requires oxygen to burn – exactly like its enemy, life. Thereby are life and flames so often compared. ~Otto Weininger
|Ø||Raise alarm and inform the Fire Brigade on Telephone No.101|
|Ø||Attack the fire with available equipment if you can, without taking undue risk.|
|Ø||Leave the premises by nearest exit|
|Ø||Do not use lift to escape from the fire|
|Ø||Do not shout or run, this causes panic|
|Ø||Give way to Fire Engines to enable them to reach the incident quickly.|
|Ø||Guide Firemen to water resources i.e. tube wells, ponds and static tanks etc. in case of fire|
|Ø||Do not misuses fire service by false calls as delays the service to really needy.|
“ Prevention is the most important strategy and it is everyone’s responsibility,”
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