Humans have done a lot through harnessing the power of fire, from cooking food to powering machinery. Even though it has proved to be an important tool, fire is still very dangerous and often unpredictable. To help keep you up on your fire safety, we have 3 facts about fire that could save your life.
1. Fire Is a Chemical Reaction
Fire is a chemical reaction between oxygen and a fuel that occurs when heat is applied. Without one of these three components, fire cannot happen. The fuel can be anything that is combustible, such as paper or wood. The heat can come from a variety of sources, such as from a match, friction, an electrical current, or a stove. Putting out a fire can be done by removing the fuel, waiting for the fuel to burn out, or by removing the oxygen. Smothering a fire to devoid it of oxygen is often accomplished by covering it with something, such as dirt.
2. Most Fires Are in the Kitchen
For residential fires, the most common place for the fire to start is the kitchen, and cooking is the number one cause of fire injuries. Kitchen fires usually occur from unattended cooking, or from a grease fire. Grease fires can be particularly scary because you cannot use water to put them out. Pouring water on a grease fire can splash the oil, causing the fire to spread. The water can also evaporate with oil particles, allowing the fire to spread that way as well. Instead of water, some ways to handle a grease fire include the following:
- Turn off the heat. Do not try to move the pot or pan, as you may spill the burning oil on yourself or elsewhere, resulting in injury or spreading the fire.
- Smother the fire with a metal lid. Glass lids should never be used, as the heat can cause them to shatter.
- Pour baking soda on the fire. It has properties that will extinguish a fire.
- Use a fire extinguisher.
3. Smoke Detectors Save Lives
Having a working fire alarm in your home can reduce your chances of dying by half, and two-thirds of all fire related deaths occur in homes that do not have a working fire alarm. By installing a smoke detector in your home, your family has a greater chance of being alerted about the danger soon enough to allow time to safely exit the home. Earlier detection can also mean less damage to your home, which means less of a need for fire damage recovery later.