Questions What sets off a fire alarm? How many should you have in your home? What makes fires burn? Why do fires burn? What do we need to do for our safety in a fire? How long can a fire burn? How do you put a fire out? What will happen after a fire? What happens with the house/building?
Interest While at work a few weeks ago, the fire alarm went off. Everyone had to evacuate the building and the fire department and police department showed up. There was not a fire in our building, so I began to wonder what sets off a fire alarm. In this particular incident, the shop-vac was being used to clean out a room and puffed out a lot of dust, which set off the alarm.
Fire Fire is defined as the rapid oxidation of a combustible material releasing heat, light, and various reaction products such as carbon dioxide and water. If hot enough, the gases may become ionized to produce plasma. Depending on the substances alight, and any impurities outside, the color of the flame and the fire’s intensity may vary.
Fire Cont’d A fire begins when a flammable and/or combustible material with a adequate supply of oxygen or another oxidizer (e.g. nitrates, nitrites, inorganic peroxides, permanganates) is subject to enough heat and is able to sustain a chain reaction. This is also referred to as the fire tetrahedron. All of these must be present in the right proportions. Once this is ignited, the chain reaction must take place so the fire can sustain its own heat by the further release of heat energy in the process of combustion and may propagate, given that there is a continuous supply of oxidizer and fuel.
Fire Cont’d The flame is a mixture of reacting gases and solids emitting visible and infrared light. The frequency spectrum will depend on the chemical composition of the burning material and intermediate reaction products. The burning of organic matter, such as wood and soot will produce the familiar red-orange glow of “fire.” The complete combustion of gas will have a dim blue color.
Smoke Alarms One of the most important safety devices for a home. Became available for general use in homes in 1970. When smoke alarms are present and working, the chance of dying in a fire is cut in half. Smoke alarms should be located between any sleeping person and the rest of the house, outside bedrooms, or sleeping areas. It is strongly recommended that multi-story homes have a smoke alarm on each level of the house. The battery should be replaced at least once a year.
Types of Smoke Alarms Ion: reacts faster to open-flame fires and is usually least expensive. Photoelectric: reacts faster to smoldering fires and is less likely to react to cooking. These are both powered by a battery and will need to be replaced 1-2 times per year. (When the battery needs to be replaced the device will “chirp” every 20 seconds.)
Types of Fires and Extinguishers The National Fire Protection Association has divided fire into four types, determined by the materials or fuel being burned. Extinguishers are labeled as to which of the four fires they are effective in controlling. Class A: Fires with trash, wood, paper or other combustible materials such as fuel source. Class B: Fires with flammable or combustible liquids as fuel source.
Class C: Fires involving electrical equipment. Class D: Fires with Certain ignitable metals as fuel source.
Fire Safety Here is a checklist to go over with your family. Fire Safety Checklist Explore the following website with Sparky the dog. Fire Safety with Sparky
Fire Safety Draw a home escape plan and discuss it with everyone in your household. Practice the plan day and night with everyone in your home at least twice a year. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
Plan Your Escape Route Escape Route
After a Fire Within the first 24 hours after a fire, the following should be completed: Contact your local disaster relief service, such as American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, to help with your immediate needs, such as: Temporary housing Food Medicine Eyeglasses Clothing Other essential items
After a Fire Important people to be contacted: Insurance agent/company Mortgage company (inform them of fire) Family and friends Employer(s) Child’s school Post office Fire and police departments Utility companies
Community Resources Emergency: Call 911 Red Cross (812) 471-7200 Salvation Army (812) 422-4673 (812) 473-3886 (812) 425-8735
Statistics As of 2008: There were 3,320 civilians that lost their lives as a result of a fire. There were 16,705 civilian injuries that occurred as result of a fire. There were 118 firefighters killed while on duty. Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined. 84% of all civilian fire deaths occurred in a residence. There were an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008. Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $15.5 billion.
Standards 5.2.6 Write instructions that others can follow in carrying out a procedure.