MIRROR: G K Bhat
We use fire every day, throughout entire walk of life of a human being. One cannot think of our life without fire .Therefore it is called one of PanchaBhutas according to Hinduism .Fire when used with discipline and control it has got tremendous amount of usage, but when we neglect it or misuse it, fire got the capacity of destroying everything. It is beyond our imagination the loss when fire accidents takes place at any place. A common man even cannot think of the devastation fire creates. But a person who faced such situation will never ever even think of fire accidents and even in hisdream. The fire accidents runs shivering in human being who have undergone and got practical experience of fire accidents .
What is fire? How many of the people can answer this question before reading this article? If you ask this question to a common man he will answer generally, burning, or heat or something of that kind. Burning is not fire, this is result of fire. Heat is part of fire. To understand the fire safety and control the fire, it is very essential to know what is fire and its components.
Fire will never occur unless all the three components of the fire comes together in a required ratio. Here the required ratio is most important and key word. Following are the three elements of fire.
In absence of any one of these things will be a total absence of the fire. Also if we imbalance of the required ratio of any one of the above three things, fire will not take place. Once a person understands this basic principle, then it is easy to control fire.
You may be sitting at home, office or anywhere, you will find some material which can catch fire, presence of oxygen is always in the air, else one cannot survive, and some amount of heat is always there. But there is no fire, why? That is the reason the required ratio is most important to occur a fire. The above combination of three important substance of fire is called fire triangle. To control the fire, either we have to remove one of these things or disturb the ratio. The required ratio means, each substance got a flash point. When a substance reaches to its flash point, the substance will catch fire. We will discuss this aspect in our future articles in detail.
As kids, we have seen and also some time did action of blowing air from mouth to put off a burning match stick or agarbatti etc. That action disturbs the required ratio of the oxygen to burn the particular substance, which is called fuel. Many time we saw when our mother or elder ladies while frying the material using oil, the oil in the pan catches fire, what they do? Immediately they put a lid on it and the fire gets extinguished. The reason is very simple, that the oxygen supply is cut off by putting the lid on the frying pan. When the cooking is over , in the village , people remove partially burnt wood and put some water or where the people use LPG , they put off the supply of LPG by turning the regulator into off position , by this they cut off fuel supply or remove the fuel which results in absence of fire.
Above action may be a routine thing, if we analyse such things in view of fire prevention, we will understand the importance of that. The basic principle of firefighting is, to remove or disturb the ratio of one of the three things in the fire triangle. The quicker is better. This is totally depending upon the fire fighters IQ level, that how fast he reacts and puts off the fire or brings the fire under control. If not done the fire will multiply and it is a chain reaction. Therefore the reaction time is most important factor in fire safety and while fighting the fire.
While fighting the fire, one should know the type of fire and remedial action. Each type of fire needs deferent action. If we put the water to a burning oil, thinking it will cool down the fire, the result will be devastating and dangerous. Because the oil is lighter than water and floats on it, thus the fire will spread. Understanding the types of fire is called classification of fire. We will discuss the classification of fire and the required firefighting media or type of fire extinguisher in our next article.
G K Bhat