WHAT IS FIRE ?
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in molecular oxygen, O2, to the stronger bonds in the combustion products carbon dioxide and water releases energy.
The flame is the visible portion of the fire. Flames consist primarily of carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen and nitrogen. If hot enough, the gases may become ionized to produce plasma. Depending on the substances alight, and any impurities outside, the color of the flame and the fire’s intensity will be different.
TYPES OF FIRE
- Class A (Solids): Class A fires are fires involving solids. This type of fuel could be paper and cardboard, common in offices and manufacturing. It could be furniture, or fixtures and fittings. It could even be the structure of the building.
- Class B (Liquids): Class B fires are fires involving liquids. Many of the fluids, liquids and chemicals used in workplaces can be flammable or explosive. Like cleaning fluids, solvents, fuels, inks, adhesives and paints.
- Class C (Gas): Class C fires are fires involving gases. This could be natural gas, LPG or other types of gases forming a flammable or explosive atmosphere.
- Class D (Metal): Metals are not often thought of as a combustible material, some types of metal can be, like sodium. Metals are also good conductors, helping a fire spread. All metals will soften and melt at high temperature, which can be a big problem when metal joists and columns are present in a fire as structural elements.
- Electrical fire: Electricity is more or a source of ignition than a fuel. However, fires in live electrical equipment are an additional hazard.
- Class F (Cooking oil and Fatty acids): Deep fat frying and spillages of flammable oils near to heat sources in kitchens can result in a class F fire.
HOW TO SAFEGUARD FROM FIRE?
- Building Access & Emergency Evacuation Routes:
Openspaces in buildings are one of the most essential fire safety measures for fire prevention and management. Make sure your facilities have unobstructed fire doors, overhead doors, and other exterior doors, hallways, pathways, stairways, windows, and outdoor areas such fire hydrant paths.
- Fire Safety Exit Signs & Fire Alarms:
Fire alarm systems go hand in hand with exiting the building during a fire or other emergencies. These fire prevention systems in buildings include the fire alarms themselves, all components that make them work, those that feed into the alarms, and those that are connected to them (fire sprinklers, smoke detectors, heat detectors, evacuation systems, etc.).
- Preventative Inspections & Maintenance:
Preventative, regular inspections are required for:
Fire sprinkler systems
Alarms, monitors, detectors
- Train Staff on Workplace Fire Prevention & Safety Measures:
A common cause of fire is human error. This can come in the form of negligence, accidental mishaps, improper use of equipment, or lack of fire safety training.
The primary step to protecting your retail stores, grocery stores, big box stores, warehouses, restaurants, or distribution centers and their occupants from fire is to educate staff members on the causes of fire, train them how to use fire extinguishers, encourage vigilance and a daily fire-safety prevention routine.