The average house (one
like yours and mine) fire
burns at a temperature
of about 1,100 degrees
Fahrenheit,which isn't hot
enough to destroy most metals and
earthly-made substances. And if an item is well-placed and small in size, its chances
of survival increase drastically. In typical temperatures of flames, the "adiabatic
flame temperature" of a given fuel and oxidizer pair indicates the temperature at
which the gases achieve stable combustion. Smoldering cigarette: Temperature
without drawing: side of the lit portion; 400 °C (750 °F); middle of the lit portion: 585
°C (1,100 °F). Although paper ignites at around 480 degrees Fahrenheit, it gets far
hotter once it's burning. The temperature at the center of a paper fire is 1,500
degrees Fahrenheit, give or take a couple hundred. The tips of the flames themselves
are usually between 600 and 800 degrees.
Adiabatic flame temperature: The constant volume adiabatic flame temperature is
the temperature that results from a complete combustion process that occurs
without any work, heat transfer or changes in kinetic or potential energy.
As air is heated it expands becoming less dense, and as a result, lighter. Because it
is lighter, it rises upwards above the cooler air. ... As a result, the temperature of
these air molecules drops, despite the fact that no heat has been removed from
them. This process is referred to as adiabatic cooling.
Most folk treat FIRE SAFETY at home like a TV commercial, seen that or bought that,
change the channel. So as you think about brushing off fire safety at home, think
TEMPERATURE and how fast heat will blister your skin or burn your lungs or take
your home or family away. HAVE YOU REALLY PRACTICED YOUR HOME FIRE
DRILLS AND THOUGHT ABOUT FIRE SAFETY TO DAY, long before it is way too late!
A burn is damage to your skin caused by a temperature as low as 44 degrees
Celsius(109.4 Fahrenheit) for a long time. A high temperature (more than 80 degrees
Celsius) can cause more severe burns in a very short period of time (less than a
WHAT ARE YOU LOSING THROUGH BURNED SKIN ?
You will lose water and salts as well as proteins, vitamins, minerals. If you have a
small burn, your body can cope with the fluid loss from the damaged area. This is
not often true in elderly people with burns.
If a baby or child sustains burns larger than 1/10 (10%) of his/her total skin
surface, the fluid loss will be considerable and the body cannot cope by itself.
Firstly, the child may feel thirsty and later on he/she will weep less. His/her body
will need more fluids. Water with sugar and salts will be given to the child through
a drip for the first 24 hours after the injury. The child will require admission to a
If an adult presents with burns larger than 15% of the total skin surface, fluid loss
will be considerable and admission to a Burn Unit is required. In a short period of
time (hours), the body will lose fluids faster than replacement by drinking. Water
with salts will be given through a drip in order to compensate for the loss. The
amount of fluid required depends on the size of the person and the extent of the
burn. It may be a lot: for example for an 11 stones (70Kg) man with a 40% burns, the
fluid requirement will be more than 11 litres in the first 24 hours.
Human Lungs in Fire
The smoke released by any type of fire (forest, brush, crop, structure, tires, waste or
wood burning) is a mixture of particles and chemicals produced by incomplete
burning of carbon-containing materials. All smoke contains carbon monoxide, carbon
dioxide and particulate matter (PM or soot). Smoke can contain many different
chemicals, including aldehydes, acid gases, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides,
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, styrene, metals and
dioxins. The type and amount of particles and chemicals in smoke varies depending
on what is burning, how much oxygen is available, and the burn temperature.
Inhaling smoke for a short time can cause immediate (acute) effects. Smoke is
irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat, and its odor may be nauseating. Studies have
shown that some people exposed to heavy smoke have temporary changes in lung
function, which makes breathing more difficult. Two of the major agents in smoke
that can cause health effects are carbon monoxide gas and very small particles (fine
particles, or PM2.5 ). These particles are two and one half (2.5) microns or less in
size (25,400 microns equal an inch) and individual particles are too small to be seen
with the naked eye.
Inhaling carbon monoxide decreases the body's oxygen supply. This can cause
headaches, reduce alertness, and aggravate a heart condition known as angina. Fine
particles are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs.
Inhaling fine particles can cause a variety of health effects, including respiratory
irritation and shortness of breath, and can worsen medical conditions such as
asthma and heart disease. During increased physical exertion, cardiovascular
effects can be worsened by exposure to carbon monoxide and particulate matter.
Once exposure stops, symptoms from inhaling carbon monoxide or fine particles
generally diminish, but may last for a couple of days.
Suffering a house fire is a devastating experience. Each year, $8.6 billion in property
loss is estimated due to fires based upon government records. When the damage is
severe, countless precious belongings are lost, depriving the owners of a portion of
Jewelry Although they may endure superficial damage when they’re engulfed by
flames, most items of jewelry maintain their compositions amid high heat. Diamonds,
which are formed below earth’s surface under intense heat and pressure, melt at
about 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Gold melts at a much cooler temperature – about
2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – but that’s enough to survive most house fires. Platinum
jewelry is the priciest, so it’s a good thing that the metal’s melting point is just
higher than 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Sapphire and Ruby also possess extremely
high melting points.
Silver Coins The melting point of silver is just below 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Steel filing cabinets are built to last so that businesses won’t have to deal with the
loss of important files after building fires. Many people keep personal documents in
filing cabinets, which are often kept in home offices. Their steel composition and
usual placement within a home – often away from the kitchen or fireplace – give
them a high survival rate.
Tools Do-it-yourselfers might not have to repurchase the tools they’ll need to
rebuild their homes after a fire. Steel tools are extremely durable – the melting point
of carbon steel is between 2,600 and 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit, and the melting
point of stainless steel is roughly 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Silverware Most forks, knives and spoons are composed of stainless steel. So even
if the fire started in the kitchen, it’s possible that not every item in the room
perished. Their small size and placement also allows them to take the heat.
Cookware Cookware is built to endure extremely high temperatures. Most pots and
pans are made of steel and iron; the latter of which melts at just below 2,800
degrees Fahrenheit. Like silverware, their placement within confined spaces helps
them survive the not-so-severe fires.
Barbecue Grill Go figure that an item made for fireside cooking could outlast a fire.
Most grills are composed of steel or iron, which allows them to last for decades. Of
course, most are kept in the backyard – away from the worst of the inferno. But they
still may have to endure falling debris.
Fire safe The steel composition of a fire safe allows it endure 1,700 degree
infernos. Imagine if the entire house was made from the same material as a fire
safe? House fire problem solved.
SO LET ME ASK YOU ONE MORE TIME BEFORE YOU HOUSE PUTS YOU AND YOUR
FAMILY TO THE TEMPERATURE TESTS HOW IS THAT FIRE SAFETY PLAN!
A house fire is one of my greatest fears when it comes to my family, and especially
my young son. Fire is powerful and uncontrollable, and absolutely deadly. Just
thinking about it sets off waves of panic – but not of uncertainty. Anyone who has
lived through a fire will tell you how terrifying it is. Sadly, sometimes people don’t
live to talk about it. We know, because we see the tragic results of fire every day.
Often the victims of fire need not have perished. They did because they did not react
quickly enough or because they were not alerted in time to escape. Smoke alarms
alert you and are required by law on every storey of your home. Although schools
conduct regular fire drills, most fatal fires happen at home. It is critical to develop an
effective home fire safety plan and practice it regularly. This will ensure that if a fire
happens, everyone will know exactly what to do. In more cases than we’d like to
remember help or escape was on the other side of a door, or at the opposite end of a
corridor. Lives were lost because people either didn’t know or couldn’t find their way
out of a burning building.
You know that your doors open and shut normally, but you need to do regular checks
of your windows – a primary escape route in case of fire. Many elements, like
humidity or a recent repaint, may make it hard (or nearly impossible) to open your
windows. Do a regular check (once a month works over here) to verify your window
If your kids sleep on an upper level, you need to get a roll-up escape ladder for their
room(s). Even more, you need to practice climbing down the ladder. Unless your kid’s
a daredevil, she or he probably be scared to climb down a swinging, unfamiliar rope
ladder – especially if she’s already panicking about a house fire. Drilling her climbing
skills in advance will help her stay calm and safe as she descends to safety during
Prepare a fire escape plan with your children
Double Escape Route
As you work up your fire evacuation plan, you need to develop at least two safe
routes out of your home: one primary and one alternative, in case the primary is
unsafe. Note that the primary route from your bedroom is probably different than the
preferred evacuation from your kids’ rooms. Don’t confuse your children with options;
instead, only focus on their individual plans. If they’re on the younger side, do an arts
& crafts project to create an escape route diagram. Their fire plan should live in their
bedroom, somewhere they can easily grab during a fire.
Twin Meeting Spots
The final element to your evacuation route is your outdoor meeting spot. You’re
going to need two again, in case your preferred location is unsafe. This area can be
anywhere on your property – the front sidewalk is good, for example, because that’s
where the fire trucks will arrive – but you can also choose a trusted neighbor’s home.
Whatever works for your circumstances and family.
Finally, arm your family with these basic fire safety supplies:
Flashlights: One per bedroom and at least one per floor
Towels: One set per bedroom, to prevent smoke from seeping in under doors
Cotton Shirt/Blanket: One per person, in the bedroom, to cover your nose and
mouth to prevent smoke inhalation
Bright Cloth: One per bedroom, to wave so the fire department can spot you
Smoke Detectors: One per bedroom and at least one per floor
Fire Extinguisher: At least one per floor
Plan to Live: Each member of the household should become familiar with the
methods of escape, and take part in regular fire drills. Fire safety and escape
planning is a family affair. Pre-arrange a meeting place a safe distance away from
the building so you can make sure everyone is accounted for. Make sure family
members, overnight guests and babysitters are familiar with you home escape plan.
You may wish to post the escape plan where it will be seen by everyone (ie. on the
fridge). Have an alternate plan. The main escape route may become impassable
because of smoke or fire. Decide in advance who will assist the very young, the
elderly or the infirm in the event of an emergency. Conduct regular fire drills. Have
family members practice escaping ‘blind’ from every area of the house. Install extra
alarms if necessary – in bedrooms where doors are kept closed or for persons who
are hard of hearing. Be sure everyone in the household knows how to dial 911 and
report a fire as soon as they are safely out of the house or apartment.