Fire safety awareness training for security guards is very important as the security guard can avoid fire by detecting the hazardous materials in the workplace. A well-trained security guard can save people’s lives by conducting a safe rescue operation if needed during the fire. In this lesson, you would learn the following;
- Nature and causes of fire
- Classification of fires
- Methods of fire spreading
- Firefighting equipment
- Responding to fires
The fire can kill, burn, muff, damage and leaves people homeless if their workplace destroyed by fire. The key information you should know in basic fire safety training is
- A fire can double in size every 40 seconds
- Average response time within a country should be 10 – 15 minutes
- 25% of fires in the world are attributed to smoking cigarettes
Nature and causes of fire
Fire can take place if three things are present, the combination of the three things known as the fire triangle. A sufficient amount of the components results in the fire and this process is called combustion.
Heat: The source of ignition which provides enough heat to start a fire for example;
- Welding sparks
- Oven or stovetop
- Embers or coals Heat can also be produced by friction between surfaces.
Fuel: It can be anything that burns in the fire. Any combustible material such as solids liquids, vapors, or gas. Examples;
- Wood, paper, cardboard
- Petrol, oil, lubricants
- Methane, butane or propane gas
Oxygen: This is another element of the fire which can find in the surrounding air. If the oxygen presents the fire can be taken place.
There are three methods of controlling a fire, which is:
- Starving – This means to remove the source of fuel from the fire
- Smothering – This is restricting oxygen from accessing the fire
- Cooling – This is removing the heat from the fire
The process of starving, smothering, or cooling is removing one element of the fire triangle and causing the fire to stop.
Classification of fires
Types of fire are classified according to the source of fuel. Knowing the classification of fire is important as it guides you in choosing the correct method to control the fire.
Classes of fire
1. Class A – Solid materials (E.g. Wood, paper, fabric, plastic)
2. Class B – Liquid (E.g. petrol, oil, grease, paint, kerosene)
3. Class C – Gas (E.g. methane, butane, propane)
4. Class D – Metal (E.g. sodium, potassium, aluminum, magnesium)
5. Class E – Electrical
Methods of fire spreading
The fire can spread immediately when it gets enough heat, fuel, and oxygen continuously. there are three methods of spreading of the fire.
- It is an easy method of spreading fire. When things are burnt the hot gases contained in the space, so, it helps to burn the substances by supporting them from being heated. Enough heat causes further fire to start and expand. This process also sends cooled gas (oxygen) downward to the source of the fire, enabling it to continue burning.
- The heat transfers one place to another through solid material and increases the temperature of the fuel that causes the fire. For example, if an iron rod left one edge in a fire, eventually the whole rod would hot and increase the temperature of the surrounding area.
- The process of the radiation is transferring the heat from other places without any solid material rather than the infra-red spectrum. The valuable example we know about the radiation is the heat from the sun. Similarly, the heat will radiate outward through a spark, which will eventually ignite and burn the material (fuel).
Direct burning: The heat can spread through direct contact with the fuel or materials. If we dropped the lit cigarette into the rubbish bin the burning cigarette will direct contact with papers or other materials and resulting ignition then the fire.
Conclusion: Fire safety awareness training helps you to gain knowledge of fire propagation methods which can help you to detect fire hazards before a fire start and even control a fire that has already taken place.
Hi am David Angitso from a private expert and consultant with KAS Security Nigeria