FACTOIDS:

FIRE

Not all fires should be put out by water. If oil catches fire, adding water will just spread the fire, since water, being denser than oil, will settle down, and will have absolutely no effect on the burning oil. Instead, the heated water will form bubbles, causing oil to spread across an even larger area. Throwing sand and using fire extinguishers are the safest ways to stop a fire. 

ROAD

The speed limits for driving do not consider the effect of water. In case the road is wet, the water further reduces the friction between the tyres and the roads, and you might end up slipping even if you’re under the speed limit. It is safer to drive around 10km/hr slower than what the limit is, in case of wet roads.

ELECTRIC

Do not play with or connect open wires unless there is an electrician around or the power is off. Only one faulty connection is enough to cause a short circuit, which results in potential damage to electric appliances. The best way to prevent such incidents is by installing an MCB, which prevents passage of high currents.

HEALTH

The ‘best before’ date on food products does not indicate that the food becomes unfit for consumption after that date; it just means that the taste of the food will be the best before the specified date. However, ‘expiry date’ means that the product becomes unfit for consumption post that date, and care should be taken in differentiating between the two.

CYBER

While using third-party applications on Facebook, carefully go through what data the application is reading from your profile, and whether you are allowing the application to post on your behalf. Many such applications mine data from users and post spam on Facebook since the users don’t pay attention to the terms of use of the application.

ROAD

While airbags may help save lives, they may even prove deadly to children below 12 years. The safest spot for such young children is in the middle of the back seat. The jerk applied by the airbag can damage the body of a young child.

ELECTRIC

An incandescent bulb uses only 10% of electricity to actually produce light. The remaining 90% energy is lost as heat — which explains why the bulbs get so hot over time.

HEALTH

In case of a sprain or muscular injury, taking a warm shower or applying a warm cloth on it may increase the swelling, causing pain and prolonging the healing process. Increased heat just increases the flow of blood to the area, which causes pain and increases the swelling around the injury. An ice pack is the best remedy to sore muscles, sprains, or internal injuries.

MISC

Whenever you travel in a bus, plane, or any other public transport, always note the escape routes in cases of emergencies. Also, note all evacuation plans for the place you are living in, in case of any natural disaster. Mark out safe spaces in your locality where you can take shelter or regroup temporarily. During emergencies, time is scarce, and it is important to chalk out all the details beforehand.

ROAD

The most common cause of fatalities during accidents is damage to the spine and the neck. In case someone is trapped in the car after an accident, he or she should not be removed by holding the neck or the spine, as it may cause further damage. Their spinal cord should be rested, and they should be pulled out feet first. The best way is to immediately call an ambulance and let them do the job.

FIRE

One of the most ferocious fire incidents in human history was the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Starting from a small barn, the fire eventually grew larger due to the dry summer, and caused the death of over 250 people, along with a damage of more than 4 billion dollars in today’s currency. Neglect by the authorities and miscommunication were the two major reasons for the spread of the fire.

CYBER

For the last time – there is no Nigerian prince handing out his money, you are NOT chosen as the winner of any draw to win a mobile phone, and there are no hot singles in your area (sorry). All these mails are common examples of people trying to get your data and/or money, and then use it for their own good. Do not send any personal information over any mail, and don’t reply to any suspicious mails which offer money.

MISC

Always have an emergency contact associated wherever you live. You never know when you may require assistance, and the person closest to you, or who can reach you the fastest, is usually your emergency contact. This person should also know all basic facts about your body, such as allergies and medicines you are on. Store this number in your phone, and notify all your friends and relatives of this person.

ROAD

Noise is not only annoying – it is also a cause of many health issues, such as hypertension and stress. Traffic is one of the largest sources of noise pollution in India, and being caught in traffic will affect not only your ears, but also your mind. Try to avoid honking unless really necessary, and if you know you’ll be trapped in traffic, it is best to carry ear plugs to protect your ears from all the noise.

HEALTH

Water is essential for the survival for all organisms, some of which are very harmful to humans. Water kept still for long becomes a breeding ground for various insects such as mosquitoes, which may end up spreading diseases such as Malaria. All household containers of water should be checked and their water thrown out and replaced at regular intervals to prevent the growth of such pathogens.

ELECTRIC

All electrical appliances which require a large input electric current should be connected through switches which have ground wire in them. Grounding is essential as it protects the device from excessive current, as well as saving your life in case of electric shock. Grounding your electric equipment saves you from physical as well as economic damage.

FIRE

While oxygen does help in combustion, insufficient oxygen may cause what is called incomplete combustion. In a nutshell, if there is not enough oxygen, combustion rate is slower, which releases comparatively less heat, which, in turn, causes the fire to burn yellow. Complete combustion, which has an abundance of oxygen, is seen as a blue fire.

CYBER

Cyber bullying is as real as real-life bullying. It causes psychological harm, stress, and depression, and may lead someone to take extreme steps. Cyber bullying is punishable by the law as well. If you feel like you are the victim of cyber bullying, speak up. Talk to concerned authorities and your parents and friends about it. And remember to not take a joke too far, since what seems like laughing matter for you may be something serious for someone else.

ELECTRIC

Insulators such as wood or rubber slippers become ineffective when they are wet, since water by itself is an excellent conductor of electricity. The water will nullify the insulating effect of the wood or rubber, and you would still be electrocuted. Thus, while touching any electric equipment in wet places, such as bathrooms, the connection should be properly cut off to minimize the risk further.

HEALTH

An over-reliance on medication can be harmful for your body. If you take medicines over minute illnesses or health problems, the immune system of your body grows weak. This may become problematic in case of a major health problem, since absence of a strong immune system leaves your body

FIRE

In case of a fire, the first thing to do is cutting off the oxygen supply to the fire. The easiest method to do it is by throwing a blanket on the fire, provided that the blanket is not made of cloth which easily catches on fire. The blanket cuts off the fire from the environment, thus starving the fire of oxygen. Without oxygen, combustion stops, and the fire dies down quickly.

MISC

The biggest risk for a person drowning is the water filling into the lungs and suffocating him. Push on his/her stomach below the rib cage to spew out the water. Whenever they regain consciousness, allow them to vomit out all remaining water. You may need to give the person mouth – to – mouth or CPR in case they are not breathing properly.

ROAD

Bad weather conditions, such as fog and smog, make it a nightmare for drivers, since not only is their driving affected, but their visibility is as well. Since most cars are adjusted with fog lights, they should be used in order to improve visibility. In case you are walking through fog, do not walk anywhere close to the road, as the low visibility would make it impossible for you to duck in case the car hits you.

ELECTRIC

When handling electric equipment, work with one hand. The reason? In case of electric current passing through your hands, working with only one hand connected to the circuit minimizes the impact on your chest, and as a result, protects your heart and lungs from the electric shock.

HEALTH

When you get dehydrated, it is not only water that your body craves. To resume the normal functioning of the body, it needs electrolytes as well. In case you feel dehydrated, add any electrolyte solution to water and consume it. If it is not available, just add some sugar, salt and a few drops of lemon juice in a glass of water and drink it. It works better than drinking plain water.

CYBER

Facebook, Gmail, and other websites never ask you to change passwords or interfere with your login information. Any time you see a mail asking for information related to your account, and they want your password or any OTP in reply, do not agree. The only time you can reset your password is if you ask for it yourself. Even if the mail looks genuine, do not enter your login information.

ROAD

In case of any accident, whether at home, at work, or on the road, consult a doctor even if you don’t feel anything. In such pressure situations, your body releases loads of adrenaline, which acts as a natural painkiller, thus keeping your body ready in case of a fight-or-flight scenario. This does not mean, however, that there is no injury, and not going to a doctor only worsens it.

HEALTH

While headaches are annoying, taking a painkiller every time you get a headache does more harm than good. Instead, try drinking lemon juice or tea mixed with ginger, and take them at regular intervals. Maintain a proper sleep and exercise schedule in case you have frequent headaches.

ELECTRIC

The most important thing, to get an electric shock from a source, is earthing — a way for the charges to go from your body to the ground. So, if you are not in direct contact with the ground, you will not get electrocuted, because air is an insulator of electricity. It explains why birds don’t get a shock on sitting on wires, and also tells us that movies have been lying to us for quite a while now!

FIRE

Before the Great Chicago Fire, the largest fire catastrophe was the Great Fire of London in 1666, which raged on for almost a week and burned down the houses of almost 70,000 people. The fire started at a bakery and spread across the city, and it is said that the delay in response from the Mayor is what allowed the fire to spread.

ROAD

The large majority of victims in road accidents are actually pedestrians, since most cars come with equipped safety measures to protect the people inside the car. So when you are walking down any road, keep your eyes on the road and avoid any distractions that would make you oblivious to the traffic. Keep a safe distance from the incoming traffic on the edge of the road.

HEALTH

Sugar makes everything sweeter, and so does honey. However, honey is a much better substitute to sugar, thanks to the fact that it has added proteins in it, and also it helps in dealing with bacteria. Honey not only sweetens the food, but also improves your health, and helps your body in fighting infections. Thus, it makes sense to add some honey in your diet, if not completely substituting sugar.

FIRE

In case you are about to go near a fire – whether it is in the kitchen or during any festival – you should not wear clothes made of artificial fabrics, such as nylon. In case of fire, these clothes melt and get stuck to the skin, severely injuring the tissue underneath. Wearing plain cotton or wool clothes is much safer.

ELECTRIC

In case someone suffers from an electric shock, the power supply should be cut off from the mains before approaching the victim, because in case there is a loose wire still in contact with the victim, you too might suffer a shock. You should also check if materials that conduct electricity, particularly water, are in contact with the victim. Panic and haste will only increase the number of victims.

ROAD

Ground clearance of a vehicle is a good indicator of where you should take your car. A low ground clearance means there is less space between the car and the road, which can be dangerous while driving on rough roads, such as those in rural areas. On the other hand, cars with high ground clearance are easier to handle on tricky roads, since they have better aerodynamics.

HEALTH

Paracetamol is an ingredient in almost all painkiller tablets, and also helps cure inflammation. While it is widely sold as an over-the-counter drug, its consumption, however, should not be as free as it is currently, since it has it has harmful effects on kidneys and lungs. The maximum paracetamol dosage for an adult is 4 grams per day, and your dosage should be adjusted similarly.

FIRE

An acetylene fire is the hottest fire you can light, with temperature of the flame reaching just over 3000° C.

ROAD

Be aware of people walking along with you on the street, especially if you are in a relatively unknown locality, and the street is dark, or it is late at night. Maintain a safe distance from anyone who feel is suspicious, and walk in the opposite direction if you feel someone is pursuing you. Be familiar with the routes, so that you don’t get lost taking a wrong turn.

HEALTH

Artificial sweeteners seem to be the best thing to have happened for people who want to lose weight without losing appetite, but that just may not be the case. Multiple studies have shown that consumption of artificial sweeteners still results in weight gain, though not as much as sugar products. The solution? Just keep the sweets away for some time.

ELECTRIC

People who know what a Faraday Cage is will suggest you stay inside a car during lightning, since the current passes from the outside of the metal of the car, and into the ground. However, with modern day cars having electrical equipment, such as USB chargers, lightning hitting a car may actually damage the car parts, as well as cause injuries to whoever is inside.

HEALTH

A person usually faints because the blood flow towards the brain is restricted. In case a person faints, you should loosen their constrictive clothing, such as belts, and place their legs about 10 cm higher than their heart. The Earth’s gravity causes more blood to rush towards the heart, and then the head, which helps the person regain consciousness.

HEALTH

A fever is uncomfortable, surely, and it does seem sensible to take a pill to cure the fever. However, the fever is actually a part of the body’s defence mechanism, and aids the body in fighting outside intruders. Studies have shown that a fever makes the immune system stronger, while helping it fight whatever the infection is. Long story short: let the fever go by itself. It’s only healing your body.

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