Fire safety is a major issue for managers, local authorities, building owners, fire protection engineers and construction contractors.
Many myths are perpetrated by lay persons and even by professionals about fire safety.
Let’s see the most prominent fire safety myths,
Myth 1 – People panic when fire occurs
People will panic in the event of a fire. Many fire safety professionals believe the same. But research shows to the contrary – in fact, most people make rational decisions while in adverse circumstances.
Researcher G. Proulx refutes that people will panic. The provision of crucial information is important to maximise the evacuation efficiency. Emergency procedures must be designed to ensure that everyone in a place will start to move safely. This will happen if they provide proper instructions in the preliminary stages of a fire.
Myth 2 – It is important that you never use water on flammable liquids / oil fires
It is true if water is applied to a flammable liquid the fire spreads by dispersing the burning liquid.
Water is one of the best fire suppression agents used to control fire and extinguish flammable liquid fires, but only if you used in an appropriate way.
How you should apply water to a flammable liquid that has more effect,
1. Water extracts the heat from the liquid itself, when the liquid cooled to below its flash point, then the fire extinguishes on its own
2. When you applied water to structural members, it provides a cooling effect to keep the materials from failing
3. Water absorbs convective heat above the fire. Suppose if it is not well absorbed, then it causes structural damage and ignite nearby combustibles
Trained fire fighters use a fog or spray pattern from their hoses to accomplish the above-mentioned points.
The main aspect of flammable liquid fire control is the proper spill containment. If a pool of burning liquid flows outside a sprinkler-protected area, then no sprinkler will do its job.
Myth 3 - Elevators are hazardous and should never be used during a fire evacuation.
It is commonly considered that elevators are a great fire hazard and must be avoided during such emergencies and generally this is true.
Today there are some British standard designed elevators that specifically can be used as a way out in the case of a fire.
In Australia, they are examining the needs of people with disabilities during the evacuation of buildings during a fire and this includes the use of elevators.
Myth 4 – The fire brigade will put the fire out
Manual firefighting is the last resort when attempting to contain and confine a fire within a plant. By the time the fire brigade is notified and arrives, there may well already be extensive damage to the building and its contents.
In the case of any high hazards, the officer in command might decide to take the defensive position of letting the fire burn itself out and tend more to the protection of neighboring structures instead of jeopardizing the firefighter’s safety.
Myth 5 – The alarm sound before a fire takes hold
The reality is some detectors, detect fires in the incipient phase before the flames break out. The fire has started.
Certain detectors have intelligence or premonition. If we link this capability through expert systems to prevention programs we could save an amount of money spent on other fire protection systems.
Education is the key point to dispelling these and other popular safety myths. If you need fire safety awareness training – then we are here to help you, Veteran Fire Safety Ltd is certified to international standards, to deliver high-quality training relevant to the size of the premises or building.