Monday, June 20, 2016

Fire Hazards at Home.

Our society wherein ,I reside has installed brand new fire extinguishers & other fire safety equipment ( fire hydrants, etc ) in the twin towers.Towards , the weekend, a talk was organised for making residents aware about the dangers of fire .

Hardly anyone turned up to listen to the dangers of fire. We assured ourselves, that for an earlier talk , held on an evening, in the week that went by, more people had attended.Some couldn't care less. Some pretended to be busy as it was a Sunday. The lecturer who gave the talk quipped, that except money, nothing is more important .Even our own safety, does not seem to bother us.Only twenty - twenty five people attended. And nearly, all of them, were senior citizens. One senior citizen remarked, that youngsters should care more & should have attended. He said even if senior citizens know a thing or two about fire hazards & ways of dealing with it, many times because of advancing age, senior citizens may be helpless to do anything .Probably, just like elders have become baby sitters for their grandkids, they are expected, to be fire fighters for generation next even literally & otherwise !

Fire consists of three components...fuel, oxygen & heat.When these three things combine, a fire starts. And before anyone blinks, it can spread rapidly & result in disasters.

It was told ,that that there are three methods of extinguishing fires.The first is starvation.This means if the television has caught fire, just try to remove things near it which can catch fire next. The second method is blanketing .This makes use of an ordinary blanket such as a cotton bedsheet to cover the fire & try to bring it under control.At least, it can prevent fire from spreading. And third method is cooling which is usually done by water.

Fires are classified into five types. A category is solid or general fires. B is fires in which liquids are on fire. C is fires in which gases are involved. D category is for Industrial fires involving metals,etc. Last is  category E for  electrical fires.

It was emphasized that all electrical & electronic equipment need to te turned off by switching off the switches & not by remote.Maybe,this will make us get up & stretch our legs .And  lo & behold, we would have become fit as well ! A win win situation for all ! And the icing on the cake is that , this will bring down the power bill as well !

In Mumbai, most of the homes have piped gas for cooking. And yet, people have kept LPG clyinders as well, as a spare. LPG cylinder contains some amount of residual gas.It keeps expanding & contarcting as per the temperature prevalent. And one day , this gas may just catch fire ! One solution to prevent such dangers is to surrender the LPG cylinder .Maybe , we would receive letters from PMO thanking us for giving up LPG subsidy. Never mind, that we did so ,for our own safety. The idea or the thought of benefiting anyone & that too,someone unknown never ever crossed our selfish & self centred minds !

Attention was drawn to the fact that near, the air conditioners  installed at or near windows, curtains are generally hung.A single spark from an air conditioner is enough to start a fire which will spread rapidly through the curtains.Throwing lighted cigarettes, bidis ,etc into trash cans is another sure shot way of igniting fires. Throwing body spray containers , air fresheners   into the bins  is another such fire peril.A can of body spray or an air freshener has the same components as an LPG cylinder.And similar to the LPG clyinder, it is never empty.It always has residual compnents which are highly inflammable. Advisable to crush the cans  & then trash them.

The speaker asked all listeners to clear all things kept outside flats & on or near stairs..He said that in case, there is a fire, residents will panic & be unable to find their way through the things kept near the stairs He said that people living in towers are habituated to taking the lift which is fatal during fire accidents. So ,once in a while, it is good to take a flight of stairs up and also down to know the path we need to take in case of an  emergency .The added bonus is a fitter body.

The residents were requested to have a window type open & shut grill in one window of each flat.This will help in evacuation in case of fire or any other accident. All such small & necessary precautions will make the building a safe zone .It will prevent speedy evacuation as also less damages to life & property.

The residents were requested to take good care & maintenance of their electronic & electric equipment like geysers, ovens, televisions, refrigerators, washing machine etal to prevent untoward fires & accidents.

Demonstration of fire fighting equipment was done to make residents familiar with their use. And water hoses were sprayed to exhibit the height up to which the water spray would reach in case the water hose pipes needed to be used .And last but not the least, onlookers must clear the way to allow fire fighters to reach the place of fire for timely evacuation & containment of damage.

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