Fire Safety Awareness

In case, someone’s clothing catches on fire, in this horrible situation a natural response as panic and run to the nearest shower or fire blanket is always observed. But actually, always it means to fan the flames and increase the potential for serous injury. The correct response to human fire is commonly known as

Stop, Drop and Roll

It means to stop immediately, drop your self on ground and to start rolling in order to get rid of flames. On the ground while extinguishing the flames, cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs. If one of your colleagues catches fire, panics and starts to run, tackle him or her and smother the flames. Here is some useful information about fire composition and its classes are given as under:-

Combustion (Fire)

A chemical reaction in which a fuel is rapidly oxidized is called combustion. This chemical reaction (fire) is unable to continue in absence of any one of the following elements.

  • Oxygen (freely available in air)
  • Fuel (burning material)
  • Heat (required to start and to continue combustion)

Therefore, to kill a fire you must deny the fire one or more of above mentioned three things. Three methods are commonly used known as;-

  • Smothering
  • Starvation
  • Cooling

You may apply any one method or all methods combined according to the situation and type of fire. You can;-

  • Exclude oxygen from the fire. (smothering)
  • Remove the fuel on which the fire is feeding (starvation)
  • Lower the temperature (cooling)

Types of Fire

According to the nature of burning material the fire is categorized in four classes.

Class A fires are those fueled by materials that, when they burn, leave residue in the form ash, such as paper, woo, cloth, rubber and certain plastics.

Class B Fires involve flammable liquids and gasses, such as gasoline, paint thinner, kitchen grease, propane, and acetylene.

Class C Fires that involve energized electrical wiring or equipment (motors, computers, panel boxes) are Class C fires. Note that if the electricity to the equipment is cut, a Class C fire becomes one of the other three types of fires.

Class D fires involve exotic metals, such as magnesium, sodium, titanium and certain organic-metallic compounds such as alkyl lithium and Grignard reagents.
For the first three classes of fires, there are two sets of color coded icons in common use. One or both kinds of icons appear on most fire extinguishers to indicate the kinds of fire against which the unit is intended to be used. There is only one icon used to indicate the fourth (class D) kind of fire. Class D fires involve uncommon materials and occur in fairly specialized situations. Note that any given fire can fall into more than one class’ a fire that involves both burning paper and kitchen grease would be a Class AB fire.

Note:- The information given above is intended as an introduction to classes and the common methods of extinguishing fire. It is not a comprehensive reference. Be aware that fires are dangerous, and may have aspects of fire safety which are not discussed here. For more in-depth information and hands on training, contact your local Fire department.