Where’s the fire?

Published 12:37 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Andalusia High School chemistry students, led by teacher Bill Ossenfort, recently learned about combustion and first-response firefighting. Students learned about how fires burn, types of fires, and fire extinguisher ratings. The students then put this knowledge to the test by using fire extinguishers to put out real fires.

“This was a great opportunity for our students,” Ossenfort said. “Having the chance to use the extinguishers in a training environment allows students to get comfortable using this equipment. If they ever are in a fire, it won’t be the first time they have ever used a live extinguisher. By having this training, they will be more comfortable and better prepared to fight a fire.”

There are several different types of fire extinguishers. The ratings of any specific extinguisher determine if it is best suited for fighting fires in combustible materials (class A fire — paper or wood), liquid fuels (class B fire — grease or oil), or electrical fires (class C fires). The students were able to use water, dry powder, and carbon-dioxide fire extinguishers.

“Andalusia Fire Department and Covington Fire Protection were both very helpful in creating this opportunity for our students, providing both materials and training,” Ossenfort said.