Fire is the result of a chemical reaction when three elements come together. The three elements, namely oxygen, heat, and fuel form what is known as the fire triangle.
Myths About Fire
Because fire gives both light and warmth at the same time, various fire myths have been put forward to explain this phenomenon. In many stories, fire is often associated with the sun with its hot glowing light.
In other fire myths, fire is said to symbolize new life, with the legend of the phoenix given as an example. The phoenix, a mythical bird, was said to have plunged itself into a ball of fire and came out of its own ashes fully alive and completely reborn.
What Makes Fire Hot?
Fire is hot because the chemical reaction (combustion) produces heat. Also, when combustion is fast, it produces more energy than it needs to ignite and sustain the flame. Thus, it has to transform heat energy into light energy. This is the First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed.
Facts About Fire
Fire can both be a friend and a foe depending on the situation it is in. Because of its unique behavior, it’s best to learn a few interesting facts about fires and follow basic fire safety tips when dealing with them.
1. The Fire Triangle
Before fire can start, combustion has to take place and for this to occur, three elements must be present: oxygen, fuel and energy (usually heat). Once heat energy is produced, it will continue as such so long as fuel and oxygen are present and in contact with each other.
2. The Kitchen
The kitchen is the starting point of many house fires often due to cooking that was left unattended. Also, contrary to what many believe, gas stoves are rarely involved when a fire breaks out; it’s usually the electric stoves which cause many fire incidences.
3. Fire Kills
In the US, more than 3,000 lives are extinguished by fire every year. Many of these fiery incidences are actually preventable if the victims had fire alarms in their homes, just one of the many fire safety devices that can be easily installed.
4. Smoke Inhalation
Many of those who perished in a fire died, not because of the flames, but due to smoke inhalation. A fire will usually suck the oxygen in a given room before poisonous gas and smoke comes in. Thus, by the time the flames enter the room, those who are trapped inside will have already died due to the absence of oxygen and the presence of smoke.
5. Smoke Alarms
Fire deaths in many residential areas take place because the homeowners never considered installing a smoke alarm. These safety devices could cut your chances of dying in a fire by half.
Fire Safety Myths
Ensuring that your place is secured and meets all safety standards should always be a priority. However, several misconceptions about fire can prevent you from addressing safety issues effectively.
1. Safety Stairs
In many high rise buildings, stairs are the recommended exits in case of a fire because they are generally safer when compared to elevators. This is actually correct, but if there are too many flights of stairs involved, safety can become questionable.
If the stairway is obstructed because it has been engulfed by smoke, it creates another issue for people wanting to get out. Nevertheless, most buildings these days are designed as having two sets of stairs so you can use the one that will provide you with a safe and clear egress point.
2. Detectors With Pre-Alarm Features
A common notion is that smoke detectors are designed to go off before the first flame is produced. That’s not how detectors work; they are programmed to guard against smoke and not fire. For smoke to develop, a fire has to start first. This is where the saying, ‘if there’s smoke, there’s fire’ holds true.
3. People Panic in a Fire
This is one of the most common fire safety myths that even firefighters believe in. Several researches, however, indicate that most people can make rational decisions even in the midst of an emergency.
A study advanced by G. Proulx and J.D. Sime indicated that people can be calm if given clear instructions on what to do in case of a fire. A separate research by G. Ramachandran pointed out that stress is what drives some people to make inappropriate actions when caught in a fire.
4. Sprinklers Work
Of the many fire safety misconceptions, this one is among the most persistent and it has to do with sprinklers. The myth says that if one sprinkler goes off during a fire, all the others will follow, eventually inundating the entire place.
This scenario is often featured in movies, but modern sprinklers no longer work that way. Additionally, advances in technology have made it possible for fires to be extinguished using only four or five sprinklers.
5. Sprinklers are Everywhere
Sprinklers may save lives and properties from the dangers of fire, but in countries like the United Kingdom and Germany, offices and residential apartments can be built without a single sprinkler being installed. Yet, their safety record is the same as with other nations.
6. Avoid the Elevator
Historically, elevators are not supposed to be used during a fire, but after the 9/11 tragedy, this long-standing position has been reassessed. Thus, there are now several buildings where more sophisticated elevator systems have been installed, but are to be used only in emergency cases. These modern elevators have special markings to indicate their specific usage.
7. Invincible Concrete
A final myth involves the use of concrete as a primary structural material in buildings because it’s believed to be capable of withstanding the impact of disasters like fires. While this may sound plausible, studies reveal that when exposed to temperatures over 1400 F (760 C), reinforced concrete can lose much of its so-called invincibility.
Contact Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration for Fire Damage Restoration
After a fire, you’ll probably wonder how you can get your life back. Start by calling Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration so we can work on restoring your property to it’s pre-disaster condition.
Our fire damage restoration in Denver, Co, offers top-notch service and uses advanced technology to help you get back on your feet fast. If you’re interested in getting the details of our offer, call us right away so we can start working together.