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Important facts about fires everyone should know

Considering the severity of burn injuries, many homeowners and business owners alike take extreme precautions to protect themselves and anyone else in the building if a fire breaks out. In many ways, education about the way fire works and how it spreads can help people avoid injuries. Below are a few things people should note:

1. Fire grows very rapidly. If there are not any changes in fuel and oxygen levels, it's estimated that the overall size of a blaze doubles every 60 seconds. This means that what appears to be a small fire at first is still a very serious threat, as it could tear through an entire building in minutes.

2. Fires that have more oxygen don't just spread quickly, but also burn at a higher temperature. Standard air has just 21 percent oxygen, but certain work environments may be a bit more oxygen rich, meaning fire could burn out of control even faster than the estimated doubling every minute.

3. Spontaneous combustion is not just an urban myth; it can actually take place. Certain types of fuel can create heat, often through chemical reactions or physical breakdown, such as rotting. For example, pistachios have such a high concentration of natural oil and are so likely to decompose in a manner that generates heat that they've been declared dangerous by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. As you can see, fires can start where you least expect them.

Those who are injured in fires may face costs for medical treatment, lost wages and rehab, and they could also suffer injuries that cause lasting disfigurement. As such, people in Denver, Colorado, should be aware of their rights to compensation.

Source: Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About... Fire," Leeaundra Keany, accessed Oct. 19, 2015

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