How can we help firefighters in saving hearts and homes?
Climate change and global warming are one of the main factors triggering fires all over the world. The increase in co2 and greenhouse effect associated with the rise in temperature, humidity, wind speed and dryness are sparking bushfires as the latest catastrophic fire in Australia. What can be worse than 17.9 million acres burned, entire towns have been destructed and more than 1500 homes are destroyed? An estimate of half a billion animals has been affected in this fire, causing some rare species being in danger of extinction and the summer is not over yet in Australia. While governments are moving towards change and individuals are donating, small acts of your side can still make an influence on minimising co2 emission as
- Using less hot water can reduce more than 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
- Controlling thermostat 2 degrees less in winter and 2 degrees up in summer save about 2000 pound of carbon dioxide a year
- Minimising garbage 10% can downgrade carbon dioxide emission 1200 pounds a year.
You may have thought that these small changes could not make a big difference, but this was proof with numbers. A start by yourself move can lead a real change worldwide and save the planet. That was about natural fires; however, man-made fires are much worse and mostly do more damage in persons and properties. Next, is a starter kit of knowledge and instalments that must be known for every adult.
Fire-resistant materials that should be used in construction
Fire resistance materials refer to materials that can stay in the fire while everything around is burning. It differs from one to another because while one can stand for 3- 6 hours another can bear until 10 hours of the fire. Next are the most popular construction materials that can resist fires:
Fire-resistant concrete: Concrete buildings are more fire-resistant than steel and wood constructions because concrete has lower heat conductivity and is considered a noncombustible material. That’s why liquid concrete is used as a fireproofing material for steel parts in construction.
Insulated windows: Normally the direct heat on the glass will cause the glass to break, but in fire-resistant windows as dual-panel glass frames, heat-treated tempered glass and glass blocks. Also on the top list of fire-resistant glass is wired glass that consists of tempered glass with metal wire reinforcement.
Gypsum: Gypsum boards is one of the best fire-resistant interior finishing either used in ceiling work or partitional walls. Also, there is a type X gypsum board that is specially treated to improve its fire resistance bearing time.
Brick: Brick can resist a fire according to its sickness and size from 1 hour to 4 hours because as its already manufactured in fire kiln, it is highly fire-resistant material.
What to do in case of fires? Know it, to deal with it.
Keeping an essential knowledge about what is fires, how to prevent them, and how to deal in case of occurrence is a mandatory kind of experience for everyone. Fire is the most unanticipated type of disasters and can cause massive damage in the blink of an eye. So, here is the most abridged guide about fires
What are the types of fires?
According to the European Committee for standardization, this is the fire classification used in the European Union region:
- Class A: Consist of combustible materials like wood, paper, trash, textiles and considered a quickly contained fire.
Best extinguishment: water, wet chemical and dry powder.
- Class B: Flammable liquids fuels as gasoline or benzene.
Best extinguishment: Foam, FM-200, dry chemicals and Halon extinguishment.
- Class C: Flammable gases such as natural gas.
Best extinguishment: Dry chemicals and Halon extinguishment.
- Class D: Flammable metals as lithium, potassium and other kinds of earth metals as magnesium, titanium or zirconium.
Best extinguishment: dry powder metals as sodium chloride, graphite and copper powder.
- Class E: Electrical fires mostly caused by overloaded machinery, heaters or electrical cables and its one of the most dangerous fires as it’s not only causing fire damage but also electrical shocks. Best extinguishment: Carbon dioxide, Novec 1230, FM200 and PKB.
- Class F: Cooking oils and fats and its fires are with the higher flashpoints among all the other types.
Best extinguishment: Fire blankets and foam.
How to prevent fire occurrence?
- Remove hazardous, flammable materials from your home; in case of need, flammables should be stored outside your home and in specially designed storage.
- Turn off heaters when it’s not used and make sure that they are off before you go out.
- Place any heating device at least 3 feet apart from any other flammable source as rugs or curtains
- Use candles wisely and leave at least 12 inches around them from any flammable objects.
- Avoid smoking in bedrooms or livings rooms where fabrics are everywhere around.
- Teach minors that lighters or any fire source are not for play and they should use them when needed with care.
- Make sure that the smoking alarms are working all over the home through constant scheduled maintenance.
- Practice an escape plan from your property twice a year to make sure that everyone knows how to deal with it.
How to deal in case of a fire?
According to the Red Cross of US, you have only 2 minutes to escape your home in case of fire so please:
- Do not open doors when the knob is hot and search for another escaping route. If it’s blocked, stay quiet in your room and open all the windows.
- Keep low to the ground to minimise breathing smoke.
- After making sure that all individuals are out, do not go back in, no matter what the value of anything, you want to save.
- Make sure you have a suitable extinguishment that is always maintained and not expired placed near the kitchen and at least two adults are trained to use it.
What are the latest trending technologies used in fire safety sector?
PyroLance: Is a high pressure (water and fire powder) gun. It allows firefighters to fight the fire from outside the building to reduce heat exposure and breathing smoke.
Sonic extinguisher: An invention that can be described as the cleanest extinguishment ever compared with chemical powders and liquids. The device consists of an amplifier that focuses sound waves on quenching a fire through separating oxygen from the burning material. Yes, this might be crazy; however, it can make a boom in the extinguishment technologies.
C thru helmet: A Swedish invention that integrated several technologies (visual neuroscience, AR, Cloud computing) into one single helmet for firefighters that captures information through an optic-thermal camera, and records voice, send this information directly to the fire centre. It also keeps critical information as CO2 level, and oxygen level recorded and improves vision so firefighters can see in dense smoke.
Prevention is better than cure is best suitable for the fire crisis. Several steps of maintenance, defect tracking and documenting what your property needs will save you, your family from any further hurt.