Controlling Fire

Fire has always been very useful to us.

When early human discovered fire, life became much easier.

It provided them with warmth, light and protection.

Even today we use it for cooking, extracting metals and other purposes.

At the same time it can be very dangerous.

A fire can spread by doubling its size in seconds

Within moments, it can range out of control and fill the area with heat and toxic smoke.

So knowing how to extinguish fire is very essential.

The first thing that we have to do is to eliminate the elements that support and instigate fire.

These are three essential elements for a fire to get going. They are Oxygen, heat and fuel.

If we remove even one element, we can bring the fire in our control.

Let us look at the different ways to control fire.

Let’s say a person catches fire.

One easier way to prevent a disaster in this case is to cut off the supply of oxygen

This we can do so by covering the person with a blanket. The blanket forms a barrier between the person and oxygen in air.

Thus, preventing the person from burning further.

But it is not possible to use a blanket to control fire in all situations.

Suppose a curtain catches fire.

Here the range of fire is so large, that mere covering with a blanket will not control fire.

So what we can do here is eliminate heat from the fire triangle

We can do so by pouring buckets of water such that the temperature comes down

This will in turn bring the temperature below the ignition temperature of the combustible substance;

And the fire will extinguish.

Now imagine if a fire breaks out in a huge building

In such a situation, we have to eliminate both oxygen and heat in order to control fire.

One way of doing so is to call fire brigade as soon as possible.

They carry large water tanks with them and pour water on the burning material with a great force.

Due to which all the combustible materials cool down. And this brings the temperature below its ignition temperature.

Next the water rushing out through the pipes, start to evaporate due to the presence of large amount of heat.

And this water vapour covers the combustible substance, cutting off the oxygen supply as well.

As the supply of both oxygen and heat is cut off, the fire comes under control.

Revision

Fire is a process of combustion that gives off light and heat.

Three things: Fuel, Oxygen and Heat are essential for fire.

Cutting off the supply of either oxygen, heat or fuel can help control fire.

Keep learning!