Fires are known for the destruction they can leave behind. The pure ferocity of a fire can endanger lives, rip through buildings and even masses of dry lands, making it something to be extremely cautious of. Only by understanding a fire and how it is fuelled, can we then understand how best to deal with it in an emergency - in the hope of reducing the damage caused and keeping people safe.
For a fire to burn, three elements have to be present. Without any one of these pieces to the fire puzzle, the chemical reaction known as ‘fire’ would not be possible. Firstly, fuel is needed. This is simply something that is flammable if subjected to heat above its flash point. The likes of oil, textiles and wood/paper are common fuels in many a fire both within the home and in public places. Heat is the second element required in this exothermic reaction. This can be in the form of an existing open flame, an exposed light that has been left on for a long period of time and even the sun – all of which are ever present in everyday activities. Finally an oxidizing agent is required – most commonly oxygen – which can accept new electrons; allowing the whole reaction to happen.
Fire can start accidentally in even the safest of environments. Due to the rapid reaction between these three elements, trying to contain and extinguish a fire can be extremely difficult and potentially life threatening. Depending on the type of fuel available to allow a fire to burn, there are a number of different ways in which small fires can be tamed. Most commonly used are fire extinguishers. These can help to put out the likes of oil and fat fires with the use of CO2 extinguishers, wood and textiles with the use of powder extinguishers and electrical fires with the use of foam extinguishers. It is essential to know which type of extinguisher should be used for a specific fire as opting for the wrong one – like using a water extinguisher on an electrical fire – could actually evoke more damage.
Fire Safety Blankets
Fire safety blankets are an alternative to fire extinguishers. These can be placed over small contained fires to inhibit the availability of oxygen – thus starving the flames of one pf the key elements needed to sustain a fire. The fire safety blanket is made from a fire retardant material which can be placed immediately over the flames; smothering it. With wall mounting options, these blankets offer a quick response in the event of a fire. They can also be used to wrap around people stuck within a flaming area to offer protection against the heat and flames.
In the event that a fire becomes uncontrollable and the safety of any single person becomes jeopardised when trying to manage the flames, the fire brigade must be called. Thinking smart could reduce the damage caused and could stop any fatalities!
If you are looking to improve your protection against fire and would like further information about fire safety blankets, please speak to an advisor of the Be Safe Direct team by calling 0845 604 5653.