When humankind learned to create sparks and light a fire, it revolutionized the way we lived our lives. The fire has enriched our lives to the point where we almost can’t imagine a life without it. But as with all good things, fire comes with a dark side too; ironic, considering it provides light.
The fun fact is that we humans are extremely fragile creatures made of flesh and bones. Unfortunately for us, both these constituents are susceptible to fire. In minor cases, all you get is a liquid filled bubble when you manage to touch a hot object or a flame for whatever reason. In a dire case, level 3 burns actually devastate the underlying flesh and bone structure and leave you with more than just scars.
While we can do our utmost to avoid these burns, there are times when a breakout of fire is unavoidable, and we manage to find ourselves right in the midst. The causes of these mishaps can be as diverse as a forest fire or an explosion in a chemical plant. Fighting such fires is no trivial feat. And it can involve different techniques and measures according to a variety of factors:
- Type of fire;
- Type of flammable materials which have caught fire;
- Materials in the immediate vicinity;
- Meteorological conditions, such as the presence and direction of the wind;
- Presence of any fire-fighting equipment like extinguishers, pumps, and hoses;
- Proximity to fire stations;
- The environment – open or closed;
- The rate of spread of fire;
So each of these factors needs to be considered before planning any counter-measure. The law recognizes the severity of fire hazards and has stipulated regulations for preventive measures as well as the corrective ones over time. These are commonly known as fire safety regulations, which form an important part of any establishment, residential, commercial or otherwise.
Despite following these regulations, we can fail to evade the wrath of nature and a fire breaks out. However, there are some things which can turn the tide against these monstrosities. It is beneficial to enact countermeasures as soon as the fire has broken out, for maximum chances of success.
The most important thing that civilians can do during a fire is staying calm and evacuate safely. The effective control of a fire depends on coordination of civilians with the authorities as well as other civilians and victims of fire accidents, working in an orderly fashion.
Having security personnel trained in evacuation procedures and fire-fighting basics can save a lot of lives until the authorized fire-fighters can reach the place within the specified reaction times. Their arrival also depends on quick decisions by civilians who can call for assistance soon as is physically possible. Effective countermeasures like chemical additives and foam in water are commonly used in developed countries. Technologically advanced equipment like motorized pumps, water cannons and tracked vehicles with off-road capabilities can be crucial in reducing the time to get that fire under control.