Preventing fires

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The causes for the emergence of fires are very diverse. However, they all have two prerequisites in common:

  • A combustible material and
  • A source of ignition.
[Translate to Englisch:] Gefahrstoffpiktogramme Brand
[Translate to Englisch:] Gefahrstoffpiktogramme für a) brennbare Stoffe b) brandfördernde Stoffe und c) explosive Stoffe.

Flammable substances

That wood and paper burn easily is nothing new. But do you know which chemicals can burn or explode under which conditions? Did you know that some metals can burn under certain conditions and which chemicals can create a flammable or explosive atmosphere at which temperatures?

Have you ever heard the term "dust explosion"?

When working, especially in the laboratory, be sure to pay attention to the hazard information on the packaging of chemicals and hazardous substances! Read the safety instructions, especially for flammable substances.

[Translate to Englisch:] Plasmakugel
[Translate to Englisch:] Plasmakugel © CC0

Ignition sources

Lighters, open fire, burning cigarettes are the best known and most obvious sources of ignition. But even flying sparks when cutting metal are enough to ignite a combustible material.

Less obvious, however, are defective cables, missing or damaged insulation of electrical cables, defective plugs and bare spots that can lead to short circuits.

Electrostatic charging is even better concealed. Walk with rubber soles a few meters over the carpet and then touch a metallic object: Ouch! "Got one wiped off?" Put on or take off your T-shirt in the dark with synthetic fibres. The many small blue flashes of light are already impressive. And how the hair is positioned, too! Electrostatic charging is always caused by friction! And it always arises!

Never do this if a bottle of solvent has been standing next to you for some time and the room door was closed! This is not only eye-catching!