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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Home fires can be dangerously hot

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

A person walking over hot coals It takes a brave soul to walk over these hot coals, knowing the temperatures contained within.

It’s a cool autumn evening, and you are sitting in front of a fireplace fire.  The temperature of the fire in the fireplace is greater than 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Or perhaps you are standing next to the grate where the output of the furnace is.  That temperature is about 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  But, what temperatures are we talking about when there’s a house fire?

Once a room catches on fire, temperatures inside that room rise dramatically fast.  A minute or so after the room is ablaze, the temperature at floor level reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 600 degrees at head level, and over 1100 degrees at ceiling level.  For comparison:

  • Tin melts at 232 degrees
  • Lead melts at 327 degrees
  • Wood and paper products catch fire at 450 degrees
  • Gasoline catches fire at 480 degrees
  • Aluminum melts at 660 degrees
  • Glass becomes malleable at 1020 degrees
  • And charcoal burns at 2000 degrees.

If you are caught in a home fire, you should:

  • Try and stay calm
  • Crawl low on the floor, where the temperatures will not scorch your lungs
  • Feel doors before opening. If they are hot, there could be flames on the other side
  • If your clothes catch on fire, cover your face and roll around, trying to smother the flames.
  • If your escape routes are all cut off, go back to a room, close the doors, block the vents and around the door with towels, linen, etc, and signal for help

Once the flames are out, and everyone is safe, there’s a mess to clean up.  SERVPRO of Bedford Park/Burbank is here to help!  Call the experts in cleaning at: 708-430-3600.

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