Fire can mesmerize us for hours. It is a powerful, primal force that danced through — even lead — human development through the ages. The earliest humans likely first saw fire after a lightning strike ignited trees or grass. We learned to start fires before we made clothing, for cooked food was easier to digest than raw. Controlling fire has a history almost as long, but we’ve come a long from passing buckets of water to each other. Fire Science Technology today encompasses hydraulics, fire combustion and behavior, chemistry, hazardous materials, investigation and prevention as well as firefighting strategies and tactics. Vol State offers both a technical certificate in Fire Science Technology and an Associates of Applied Science degree for those who want to learn more.
Did You Know?
- Holland was home to a major advancement in firefighting — the first fire hoses. In 1673, a father-son team sewed together 50-foot lengths of leather, allowing closer approaches and more accurate water application.
- Direct property in loss due to fires in 2008 was estimated at $15.5 billion. Wildfires in California alone accounted for $1.4 billion in losses.
- Lightning causes nearly 80 percent of remote wildfires in the United States, but people directly or indirectly start 9 out of 10 fires with discarded smoking products, equipment sparks, arced power-lines, campfires, arson, and other means.
- Tennessee is among the five states with the highest death rates per 1 million people.
- A typical single jacket fire hose has a burst pressure of 750 pounds-per-square-inch and a service test of 250 psi. Typical home systems are designed to work at 40-60 psi; 80 psi can damage appliances and pipes.
- Fires in 2008 killed 3,320 civilians in the United States injured 16,705 others. The fires also claimed the lives of 118 firefighters.