Can a fine mist of water extinguish oil fires?

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In summary, Halons are chemicals which can extinguish fires by displacing the air. They are not carcinogenic and are safe to use in closed areas.
  • #1
hell18
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There are certain types of flammable liquids which cannot be put out by water easily, i know of one, rocket fuel. but there are certain like components which make the fire worse? what are they? components which like when added with water make it worse.
 
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  • #2
Well, as far as I know, the primary thing about flammable liquids and water is that the burning oil tends to just float on top of the water, so instead of cutting out it's oxygen supply, you simply spread it around.
 
  • #3
It all depends on the type of fire.

The classic don't-use-water fires are cooking grease and electrical fires. Water on the former just splashes the flaming grease everywhere, the latter can electrocute you.

Every fire is different.
 
  • #4
It should also be added that water on the grease fire can be much worse than a simple case of "spreading the grease around", because it floats. I once saw a demonstration in which water was poured into a pot of burning grease. Because grease floats on water, the water immediately went straight to the bottom of the pot. Because the flashpoint of grease is much hotter than the boiling point of water, the water rapidly converted to steam as it reached the bottom. The resulting "geyser" shot the flaming grease high into the air, and far across the room.

As for chemicals that cannot be doused by submersion, most of these are substances that contain their own oxygen supply (such as the rocket fuel you already mentioned).
 
  • #5
In some areas of hospitals that I have worked in, they have used halon to extinguish fires. We were trained that, if the halon dumps, get OUTTA THERE - as it completely removes the O2 from the air. How does this work? Anyone?
 
  • #6
http://www.harc.org/oha2.html

I always wondered.. would a fine mist of water work on a oil fire?
 
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  • #7
Thanks, Jikx. This is what the site said:
"It stops the fuel, the ignition and the oxygen from dancing together by chemically reacting with them."

I need a better explanation. What reacts with what?

Also:

"Many people believe that halon displaces the air out of the area it is dispensed in. Wrong!"

Interesting. Why would a Fire Safety course in a hospital give bad info? To be sure, I'm going to be making a couple of phone calls tomorrow!
 
  • #8
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halon

At high temperatures, halons decompose to release halogen atoms that combine readily with active hydrogen atoms, depriving the fire of fuel.

http://www.halonbankingsystems.com/faq.html

The benefits of using Halons are that they do not leave liquid or solid residues when discharged, therefore they are preferred for sensitive areas, such as computer rooms and data storage areas. They also can be used in the presence of humans, which is important in closed areas such as aircraft, boats and armored fighting vehicles.

I'm guessing that this is because the reactions of Halons with hydrogen containing compounds only occur at high temperatures.

http://ehs.ucdavis.edu/sftynet/sn-55.html

When the detection system in a Halon-protected room is activated, the area should be immediately evacuated.
...
The effects of Halon 1211 and Halon 1301 on humans have been studied extensively. Halon 1211 and Halon 1301 are not considered carcinogens or cancer-suspect agents according to state and federal regulatory agencies. However, since Halon is heavier than air it may function as a simple asphyxiant by displacing air in a closed space. High levels of exposure to Halon 1211 or Halon 1301 may result in symptoms including lightheadedness, giddiness, shortness of breath, cardiac irregularity, and unconsciousness. These symptoms are reversible and will disappear if the victim is removed from the area of exposure.
 
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  • #9
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  • #10
(FZ+ Google Skills) > (Jikx Goodle Skills)

hehe.. now that Tsunami's question has been answered, does anyone know if a fine mist of water will work on oil fires?
 

What are flammable liquids?

Flammable liquids are substances that have a low flash point, meaning they can ignite easily at low temperatures. They also have a high vapor pressure, which means they can produce flammable vapors at room temperature.

What are the different types of flammable liquids?

There are four main types of flammable liquids: Class IA, Class IB, Class IC, and Class II. Class IA liquids have a flash point below 73°F and a boiling point below 100°F. Class IB liquids have a flash point below 73°F and a boiling point above 100°F. Class IC liquids have a flash point at or above 73°F and below 100°F. Class II liquids have a flash point at or above 100°F.

What are the dangers of flammable liquids?

Flammable liquids can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly. They can easily catch fire and spread rapidly, causing explosions and severe burns. They can also release toxic fumes that can be harmful to humans and the environment.

How are flammable liquids classified?

Flammable liquids are classified based on their flash point and boiling point. The lower the flash point, the more flammable the liquid is. The higher the boiling point, the less likely the liquid is to produce flammable vapors.

What precautions should be taken when handling flammable liquids?

When handling flammable liquids, it is important to always wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, and work in a well-ventilated area. Flammable liquids should also be stored in a cool, dry place away from sources of heat or ignition. It is also important to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.

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