When Seconds Count ... and Delay is Deadly

By Shaunda Rauch on June 04, 2013 from Emergency Services Blog via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Every day Americans experience the horror of fire but most people don't understand fire.
 
Fire is FAST!
 
There is little time! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.
 
Fire is HOT!
 
Heat is more threatening than flames. A fire's heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes, a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.
 
Fire is DARK!
 
Fire isn't bright, its pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you've lived in for years.
 
Fire is DEADLY!
 
Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.
 
Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually.  Home fires can be prevented!  Only when we know the true nature of fire can we prepare our families and ourselves.  Come to the June 18th BRIDGEPORT EMERGENCY REACH OUT EVENT [Tuesday, June 18th, 6:45PM in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 515 West Main Street] and learn about fire safety ... be trained on the proper usage of a fire extinguisher and receive one for FREE following the training.  


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