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You are currently viewing Looking at the Sources of Heat and Fuel in Buildings

Looking at the Sources of Heat and Fuel in Buildings

Sources of Heat

The obvious sources of heat are electrical heaters, electrical light bulbs, ovens, open flames of the gas stove, electrical sparking, friction caused by rubbing, and so on.

Those that are not obvious are often the things that will cause accidental fires. Electrical wiring is one of them. A good practice for the home or business, is to check the electrical wiring conditions. This is especially so for old properties. The insulation of old wiring and components usually deteriorates with age, and contacts with dust, oil and moisture in the
environment. Some may have already cracked, exposing the bare metal parts to the environment. Electrical conductors do become corroded and contacts can become loose. This can cause sparking and overheating.

Sometimes, a fire is burning at its correct place, for example, at a stove. If there is an accidental spillage of the fuel somewhere, it can cause the flame to spread to another place. LPG hose leaks can cause a fire from the gas stove or heater to spread.

Accidents like these do happen, but they can still be avoided.

None of these fires can occur if there is no fuel to catch fire. Careful segregation of the heat from the fuel will ensure that the fires will not spread. Even if it were to start, it will not be sufficient for the fire to spread. When dealing with open fires like these, it is essential that no other combustible materials be nearby. So even if there is an accidental spillage, the effects could be minimized.

The presence of a rich oxygen source can often cause a spontaneous fire. Chemicals like potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide can produce oxygen under certain conditions. These chemicals are often kept in homes
for medical purposes. Sometimes oily rags throw around the place can catch fire by themselves because of chemical reactions.

Storage of chemicals must be controlled because mixing of certain chemicals sometimes produces heat. Storage of paint, thinner, turpentine,methylated spirit and other solvents must also be well controlled. It is good to be aware of the chemicals we use around the house. Nail polish, lighter fluid, aerosol for paint or insecticide may contain very volatile inflammable materials.

Aerosols must be used carefully. Small particles are easily combustible. Even organic powders can be dangerous. A bowl of flour is very safe by
itself, but if the powder is allowed to be blown in air to form a haze, it can be easily ignited if there is a source of heat.

The sun can also produce a tremendous amount of heat. We experience this when we step into a car exposed to the afternoon sun. It may just need a small quantity of extra heat to start a fire.

Looking around for ways of reducing the chances of an oxygen-rich atmosphere forming anywhere around the fuel and the heat can help a lot in preventing unwanted fires from happening. However, sometimes it is the unexpected that causes fires…

If unsure regarding any potential fire hazards and how you can control them, contact your local fire dept or you can call Complete Pumps and Fire and our expert team we will be only to happy to help you out!

Yours In Fire Safety


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