Let's talk about fire. We all know what fire is and that we use it for a lot of things from cooking our food to heating our homes, but how much do we really know about it? Here are some interesting facts about fire!
- In order to burn fire actually needs three different components, oxygen, fuel and finally heat. All these combine to make a chemical reaction that produces heat and light which we call fire.
- We all know what oxygen and heat are, but how about fuel? Well, there are quite a variety, in fact a fire can be started with wood, oil or even coal so watch out!
- Once the fire is started it is incredibly hot and burns at about 1000 degrees Celcius (and you thought the 40 degrees weather on your summer holiday was hot!).
- Just as we use fire to cook our meats, scientists conclude that the primitive man may have done just the same about one million years ago!
- Despite being dangerous and destructive fire can actually stimulate new growth!
- It is possible to put out a fire by removing any of the three components that make it up so if it runs out of fuel it will stop burning, if you cover the fire up you remove the oxygen and if you throw water on it you remove the heat. Fire extinguishers produce water and dry chemicals in order to negate (cancel/counter) the fire.
- Cotton will ignite in flames if you add super glue, how crazy is that!
- Nobody knows who created fire hydrants because the original written idea (the patent) was destroyed ironically in a fire!
- There is a vent of naturally occuring gas in Iraq that has been constantly burning for thousands of years! It is known as the 'Eternal Fire' and you can see why!
- Fire burns several different colours depending on its temperature, blue/white flames are closer to the hotter end of the spectrum whilst red/orange are cooler. That's why flames on gas hobs are usually blue, to cook the food quickly. Many people assume fires to be yellow, orange and red but they can in fact show sparks of green and even black when the flame radiates.
Fire is incredibly powerful and fascinating but it can be very dangerous! You may have used a bunsen burner in Science lessons so you have some idea of the things fire can do and the effects it has on different materials. Therefore make sure to stay away from it except in safely conducted experiments in school!