Statistics show that, on average, fire kills eight people each week in Canada, with residential fires accounting for 73% of these fatalities. Many fires are preventable and as such Science North and Sudbury Fire Services are teaming up for the 87th National Fire Prevention Week. This year the nationally recognized week is October 4-9th, 2010.
A successful fire has three key ingredients: oxygen, fuel and heat. These three ingredients fit nicely into what is known as the fire triangle.
If any of the ingredients are removed, or even slightly decreased, the fire will be extinguished, or not start to begin with. If all of the ingredients are present, a fire will ensue, and if any of the three ingredients are increased, the fire will get larger. As fires get larger, they get faster, hotter, harder to control, and much harder to extinguish.
In our natural environment, we already have one of the main ingredients, oxygen! The air around us contains approximately 21% oxygen, which is enough for any fire.
The most efficient way to extinguish a small fire is to starve it of oxygen. Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers do just that. Although air, and thus oxygen is all around us, carbon dioxide is much heavier than air, and is able to push the air, along with the oxygen, out of the way. This is why when you are attempting to extinguish a fire with a handheld fire extinguisher, you always spray the bottom of the fire in a sweeping motion. This allows the carbon dioxide to push the oxygen out of the way, and starves the fire, thus extinguishing it. But remember, if the fire is too large, this won’t help, as there will be plenty of oxygen feeding in from the top.
Throughout National Fire Prevention Week, October 4-9th 2010, Science North will be presenting a 50 minute show in the Discovery Theatre about fire and the ways of preventing it. This exciting show is sure to wow you and your family, while teaching you valuable lessons that may just save your life! Don’t miss it, and remember to always be Fire Safe!
For more information please contact Sarah Chisnell.
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