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What is smothering in extinguishing of fire?
(A) Adding the fuel element to the fire.
(B) Removing the fuel element from the fire.
(C) Using water to lower the temperature.
(D) Isolating the fire from the supply of oxygen.
Ans: – (D) Isolating the fire from the supply of oxygen.
There are three essential elements that are necessary to start a fire.
- Fuel (Solid, liquid, and gas).
- Heat or source of ignition (spark, flame, static electricity, etc).
If one of the elements is removed then fire is extinguished. There are three different methods to eliminate fuel, oxygen, and heat.
Smothering is a technique where oxygen is removed from the equation. An example of this is using a fire blanket in a frying pan blaze to reduce the oxygen level below 16%. Covering a candle with a glass is also an example. The fire burns out all the oxygen inside the glass creating a vacuum.
This approach is commonly applied to solid fuel fires. However, some materials may contain enough oxygen within their own chemical makeup to continue burning.
Cooling is one of the most effective approaches in fire extinction is removing the heat. Thus, cooling with water is one of the most popular methods. The heat generated by the fire is absorbed by the water. Never used water in fires involving electricity, cooking oils, grease, and other flammable liquids.
Starving the fire from its fuel source is a different approach. When fire runs out of flammable materials, it will eventually burn out itself. In a gas fire, it will immediately extinguish if the gas supply is cut off.