Have you ever been in a room and smelled something burning but couldn’t see any flames? You may have been experiencing a smoldering fire.
Smoldering fires are fires that burn slowly and produce little smoke. They can be very dangerous because people may not realize there is a fire until it’s too late.
How long can a fire smolder in a wall?
A fire can smolder for days in a wall before it’s discovered. The NFPA says that half of all fires reported in homes are started by something smoldering, such as cigarettes.
While many people think a small fire will just go out on its own, that’s not always the case.
A small fire can quickly turn into a big one if it’s not put out quickly. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of smoldering fire and know how to extinguish it.
Some common signs of a smoldering fire include smoke from vents or walls, an unusual odor, and hot spots on walls or ceilings.
If you detect any of these signs, don’t try to put out the fire yourself – call 9-1-1 immediately.
Causes of smoldering fires
Many things can cause smoldering fires, but one of the most common causes is a lack of oxygen.
Without enough oxygen, the fire will not be able to burn brightly and will instead smolder.
It can be dangerous because a smoldering fire can easily become an out-of-control fire if it is not put out quickly.
Another common cause of smoldering fires in the presence of combustible materials.
If there are any materials in the area that can easily ignite, such as paper or wood, then there is a greater risk of the fire smoldering instead of burning brightly.
How to detect a smoldering fire
When you walk into a room and smell something burning, you should first identify the source of the smell.
Once you have identified the source, determine if it is a smoldering fire. Smoldering fires can be deadly.
The smoke from a smoldering fire is often thick and black, and the flames are low to the ground.
Here are some tips on how to detect a smoldering fire:
- Smoke from a smoldering fire is often thick and black.
- The flames from a smoldering fire will be low to the ground.
- You will smell an acrid, burning smell.
- There may be visible signs of heat damage, such as melted insulation or warped metal.
- The fire may not be visible, but you may see sparks or flames from vents or cracks in the wall.
- If you have a smoke detector, it will sound an alarm if there is a smoldering fire.
If you see smoke or smell something burning, take action and evacuate the area immediately.
Extinguishing a smoldering fire
When a small fire starts, it’s important to take action quickly to extinguish it. If the fire is allowed to smolder, it can soon become a bigger problem.
To extinguish a smoldering fire, you first need to find the source of the fire. Once you’ve located the fire, use the appropriate type of extinguisher to put it out.
Using the right type of extinguisher is essential because different types are effective against different types of fires.
For example, a CO2 extinguisher is effective against electrical fires, while a water extinguisher is effective against fires involving combustible materials like paper or wood.
If you’re unsure which type of extinguisher is best for a particular fire, don’t hesitate to call 911 for help.
With the holiday season in full swing, it’s important to remember some easy tips for preventing fires.
One of the most important is to keep combustible materials away from heat sources.
Christmas trees, candles, and other decorations can easily start a fire if not appropriately placed.
Another key to preventing fires is being aware of potential dangers.
For example, did you know faulty wiring is a common cause of house fires? Or that leaving cooking food unattended can lead to disaster?
Taking a few minutes to think about what could go wrong and how to prevent it can save lives and property.
Yet, make sure you have a working smoke detector and practice a fire escape plan with your family.
In the event of a fire, don’t try to fight it yourself – leave the building immediately and call 911.
Smoldering fires, although not typically as destructive as full-blown house fires, can cause extensive damage to a home.
To help avoid smoldering fires, it is important to take the proper precautions. It includes working smoke alarms and ensuring that there are no flammable materials near any heat source.
If a fire does start, it is essential to know how to extinguish it quickly and safely.