Fire is one of the most useful elements known to man. It is also one of the most dangerous; fire accidents cause harm; from burns to death and even loss of property.
At home we encounter this element when we cook with our stoves and gas cookers etc. Also when we burn things like trash etc. but these are not the only likely sources of fire accidents. We will look more into this as we progress.
In this article we will look at;
- Causes of fire accidents/outbreaks at home
- Combustibles in our home environment
- Prevention of fire accidents/outbreak
Causes of fire accidents/outbreak at home:
The common types of fire accidents that occur in our home are the;
- Class A; features combustibles like paper, wood etc.
- Class B; is caused by petroleum products such as kerosene, PMS (premium motor spirit).
- Class C; is flammable gases.
- Class E; is electrical sparks and fire.
- Class F; is cooking oils.
Now we know the classes, let’s see the actions or inactions that lead to fire accidents in our homes;
- Placing of lit candles on, directly under or beside wood, paper, rubber, cloth or foam materials.
- Carrying naked flame close to places where petroleum products are stored
- Pouring kerosene in a stove while it still has flames
- Pouring fuel into a generator in use
- Cooking gas stoves with leaking tubes and broken parts
- Splashing of cooking oil into fire
- Leaving cooking unattended to for a long time, especially while frying
- Faulty circuits and fuses
- Leaving appliances like heating irons/ electric kettles or cloth iron, plugged-in
There are many other scenarios that can lead to fire outbreak, these are just a few possible and common scenarios.
Combustibles in our homes:
There are items in our homes that burn easily and in case of fire breakout they serve as fuel.
Some examples are;
- Tables (wooden)
- Cooking gas
- Cooking oil
- Rubber and plastics
- Petroleum products (PMS/DPK/AGO)
Preventing Fire outbreaks in the home:
Prevention they say is better than cure, this bill fits this situation too.
Prevention of fire outbreak is a lot better than having to deal with it, also given the severity of injuries and damage that will occur.
Know the hazards present, then set instruments in place to checkmate them. You can ensure that petroleum products for domestic use are kept at an appropriate distance from the kitchen and every other source of flame. Fix faulty and broken switches, circuits, leaky gas pipes and faulty gas bottle regulators, valves etc.
Check the laxities of house members in regard to safety practices. Start by sensitizing them about unsafe acts that can lead to fire outbreaks, and monitor them to ensure compliance. Children should not handle lit candles without guide, they should also be designated places and appropriate surface for them to be placed on in the house, example of appropriate surface; ceramic or metal plates.
Unlearn bad habits; switching off lights, sockets, unplugging; pressing irons, heaters and electric kettle could have prevented some fire outbreaks. Impatiently and irresponsibly pour kerosene into a lit stove, same as refilling generators too.
It is also crucial to know how to extinguish the different classes of fire.
If you are not trained to fight fire and unfortunately couldn’t put it out at incipient level (the moment it starts), exit the building immediately.
We will look into what to do when there is a fire outbreak in another article.