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The Burning Process
Fire is a chemical process where the rapid oxidation of material takes place, releasing heat, light and other byproducts. The flame is the visible portion of the fire and depending on the material that is burning, explosion of the material can take place.
Fire needs three ingredients to too flourish. They are oxygen which the fire uses too have a complete chemical process. The fuel source that can be a solid, liquid or gas. The third ingredient would be heat that is applied to the fuel source. The combination of these three, creates fire. If any one of these three ingredients are removed, the fire dies.
How Fire Spreads
Fires will spread if nearby materials are heated to combustion levels. If the heat cannot be maintained the fire will slowly die as the fuel source runs out.
Classification of Fires
Fires around the house and at our workplaces will mostly fall into four categories of fires. Class A, B, C and K. These are based primarily on the fuel source the fire uses from normal trash like wood, cloth and paper too cooking oils and animal fats that we use. Class D fires are combustible metal fires and we rarely get those, except in metal producing factories.
Practice of fire Prevention
Fire prevention is the key to successful management of any fire situation. Fire drills should be conducted to instill an automatic response and procedure during a real fire. Firefighting equipment and fire detection systems should be maintained and serviced at the appropriate intervals.
Care and Maintenance of Fire Extinguishers
Inspect fire extinguishers regularly and keep them accessible at all times. Make sure firefighting equipment is usable at all times and that they are not tampered with. Firefighting hoses may never be used for any other purpose than fighting fires.
Occupational Health and Safety Act
This act clearly states that an employer must provide a safe working environment with all the relevant safety aspects to ensure the health and safety of all its employees during all working hours.
Consequences of Non-Adherence
Non-Adherence to the Occupational Health and Safety Act will result in fines to the company and criminal prosecution of management by the criminal justice system. The best option is to adhere to the law.
These range from multipurpose dry chemical too foam. The type of fire fuel usually determines the type of extinguishing agent that will be used to extinguish the fire. The fire extinguisher will have signage on that will tell you which types of fires can be extinguished with that type of extinguisher.
Fire Safety Requirements
Have a good plan in place that describes who does what, when and where. Everybody in the workplace should know exactly what to do when a fire breaks out. Employees must be appropriately trained in firefighting procedures. Firefighting equipment must be readily available and used by the trained staff to contain and control the fire. A quick response to a fire situation always limits the damage that a fire causes.
Operating Procedure of a Fire Extinguisher
Knowing how to operate a fire extinguisher is easy but you should follow a specific procedure to do it safely. Always aim for the base of the fire closest to you and depress the extinguisher trigger. Have an exit route before you start extinguishing the fire.
Fire Suppression with Hose
Fire hoses work best when they are unrolled completely. Open the water valve and take the nozzle to where the fire is. Spray water onto the base of the fire and keep moving forward at a slow and steady pace making sure you fully soak and extinguish the flames.
Lifting and Carrying Techniques
When lifting or dragging a person from a fire situation be mindful of the injuries that the person might have sustained before you found them. Dragging the person by their feet or their shoulders is the preferred method. Carrying the person across your shoulders with one hand free would be the preferred carrying technique.
Fire blankets are designed to put out fires by smothering the flames and can be reused. When putting out a fire, open blanket and throw blanket onto the fire, covering the flames completely. When putting out flames on a person, cover person with fire blanket until flames are out.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas
A very popular and common fuel used for cooking and heating. Propane gas is cheap and a lot of households use it for cooking purposes. The volume of the gas is controlled with a valve at the top of the gas container. Closing the valve will shut off the gas in case of a fire. Propane gas is heavier than air and will accumulate at ground level in a confined space, that is why it is best to store propane gas bottles in well ventilated area.
Escaping from a Confined Space
This can be very terrifying if you do not know where you are and you cannot see because of a lot of smoke. A simple rule to remember is to cover your mouth with some material, wet if possible and make sure you can still breathe. Crawl on hands and knees until you are against a wall and use the left-hand rule to exit the confined space.