When it comes to fire protection, make sure you get your facts straight. Incorrect information will not only result in loss of property but loss of life as well.
However, separating fact from fiction, truth from false and reality from myth could prove more troublesome than we actually think. Since these myths have been propagated by people we usually trust and has spread like wildfire through the internet, it has become difficult to distinguish what the truth really is.
But here’s what you should remember: Always trust the fire experts. They are the people who know about fire safety and fire protection more than anyone else.
And so here’s a list of 5 common fire protection myths and the truth behind them.
Myth #1: When there’s a fire, the fire itself causes the most damage or casualties.
Fact: Even though what we see after the fire are mostly ashes, it is actually the smoke that generally injures or kills people during a fire. Smoke can fill the entire house more rapidly than the actual fire. When a fire breaks out, it takes around three to five minutes for smoke to cover the area. The smoke from a fire can be very toxic due to the carbon monoxide and the materials the fire burns through. People can easily choke, become dizzy and disoriented and even fall unconscious by simply inhaling the smoke.
Myth #2: A smoke alarm provides all the protection you need.
Fact: Smoke alarms will only alert you when a fire breaks out but they actually don’t do anything to help put out the fire. So if you’re thinking that installing a few smoke alarms at home would provide you with sufficient fire protection, you might be in for a surprise.Homeowners need more to their fire protection plan than just a couple of smoke alarms to keep them safe from fire. To become more prepared for fire, you can install a fire door, design an escape plan, install a sprinkler system and have a couple of fire extinguishers in important places around the house.
Myth #3: The alarm will sound and warn me before the fire starts.
Fact: People often think that smoke detectors will alert homeowners or occupants before there’s an actual fire. That’s why they usually disregard the first few minutes thinking that the fire hasn’t started yet and it’s just some smoke.. This dangerous thinking and misconception that many people have is what usually causes fires to blow out of proportion.By failing to act immediately, the fire has spread fast without the homeowners realising it.
Myth #4. No need to rush. The fire doesn’t spread so fast so you have enough time to escape.
Fact: A small flame can become a huge fire in a matter of less than one minute, especially if there are flammable materials nearby. And each minute after that, it can increase in size exponentially. When the fire spreads so fast, it could lead to the fire getting so hot that a flashover occurs. A flashover is when everything ignites at once. Don’t lull yourself into thinking that it would take hours before the fire spreads to your place. Better be safe than sorry.
Myth #5. Older homes are more prone to fire compared to newer homes.
Fact: The age of a home is not a good predictor of being fire proof. Statistically, the most common reason for fires in older homes is related to outdated electrical wiring. Aside from that, any other home, whether old or new, have the potential to catch a fire. Any fire regardless of the age of the home can be potentially life-threatening.
Myth #6. You can control a small fire.
Fact: It is easy to think that a small fire can be manageable and doesn’t need much supervision. That’s a big no-no. Most catastrophic fires start small and become uncontrollable quickly. Just think about those fires that started with a cigarette or a candle. It’s hard to predict how fast or how big a fire will be. To be safe, follow all fire safety rules and precautions no matter what the size of the fire.
To make sure your home is protected and is ready for when a fire breaks out, download our Fire Protection Checklist here.