CyberDodo and the Dangers of Fire (1-7)

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Domestic fires

One is never too careful with fire which as a rule must always be carefully monitored – fires can get out of hand very quickly !

An uncontrolled fire can cause numerous and serious consequences, from burns more or less extensive, to the inhalation of toxic gases caused by the combustion of various materials. Many victims perish because of the latter phenomenon, and not due to their burn injuries. Finally, the loss of property is another serious consequence of uncontrolled fires.

Fires can break out pretty much everywhere if one is not careful….

A candle too close to a curtain or a book, an article of clothing placed on a radiator, too many electrical appliances inserted into the same outlet, an iron left on and forgotten on an ironing board, a greased frying pan forgotten on the stove, a log that rolls out of a fireplace, a scarf placed on a lamp, etc. - all of these situations are potentially critical, even fatal. Attentiveness is key !

When you hear the term « fire » there is an important principal, or rule, to remember : Fires need air to stay alive (you can almost hear them crying : air, air, air…

This means that a fire in an enclosed room will consume all available air and finally extinguish itself if the space is airtight. This also means that if someone was in this room, the fire could kill him or her without burning them or releasing toxic fumes. Rather, the fire could kill them by asphyxiation.

Other rules to remember in the event of a fire:

Smoke always rises. So, if you are in a room where a fire is spreading, it is important to stay low to the ground and try to find a way out.

To be able to breathe better, it is recommended to cover your mouth and nose with a damp cloth, and to ensure that all others present do the same.

If a fire breaks out in a residence above you, get out immediately. Remember to close the door properly behind you, and call the fire department. If the fire has broken out below you, and fire escapes and exits are obstructed, first alert the fire department. Then, wet towels and curtains to plug up the spaces between the doors and the floor. Don’t forget to indicate your presence to rescuers from the window.

Santorini

In conclusion, remember that fire can be humankind’s best friend, or it can be our worst enemy. It is up to us to be careful !

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To watch the animated cartoon about the dangers of fire, click here

To see the quiz, click here

© CyberDodo Productions Ltd.

« Fire » - the word evokes numerous images – heat, power, comfort, a fireplace (in colder countries) but also conflagrations and destruction. Fire has a significant place in world myths and legends, history – even pre-history, when the ancestors of modern humankind developed the ability to control it, several hundreds of thousands of years ago. Fire is one of the five classical elements.

Fire - an ancient companion of humankind

To start a fire (without waiting for a lightning bolt to hit a bundle of twigs), three elements are necessary : a fuel, generally known as a « combustible », air, or oxygen which is known as the combustive, and a source of heat energy – a lighter, spark, or matchstick.

These three elements are commonly represented in a model known as the fire triangle. Only one element is missing from the triangle - fire…

Fire is a source of light, as well as heat. Just like the sun, it has a number of positive associations such as power, rituals, comfort… but is also linked with more violent themes such as destruction, conflagration and even execution by burning at the stake during the Middle Ages, etc.

Fire is both a human-controlled phenomenon harnessed for various purposes such as cooking, heating shelters, landscape modification or industrial activities, and also a natural phenomenon that arises in conjunction with lightning, volcanoes and even certain types of meteorites.

Such natural phenomena are carefully observed, notably by volcanologists, given that numerous volcanic eruptions in history have ravaged entire cities, even regions, killing thousands of humans and sometimes causing damage to the extent that whole civilisations were laid to waste. (For example the Minoan eruption on the islands of Santorini, 1650 B.C.)

Even if it may seem suprising, meteorologists are also called in for the purposes of protecting nature from fires. The meteorologists work in collaboration with forest zone monitoring services.

Each year, countless lightning-caused fires wreak havoc on forests suffering drought or dryness - with terrible consequences to nature. This is so because even if mature trees have a chance of surviving wildfires thanks to their thicker bark that is able to scar, all younger and the smallest trees are irrecoverably destroyed.

As such, at the same time that frequent fires prevent the regeneration of our forests and cause serious ecological and environmental loss (fauna and flora), they are also essential for the survival of humankind. (Read more about this subject in episode 9).  

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