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Escape! Because Accidents Happen -- Fire

Program Overview


Note: This program contains graphic images of fires and fire victims. You should preview the program to determine its appropriateness for your classroom.

NOVA investigates fire and the innovative technologies used to prevent and fight it.

The program:

  • features survivors who describe the 1987 fire at London's King's Cross Station.

  • tells about ancient Roman firefighters who invented the pump.

  • points out that the Great Fire of London in 1666 led to new building codes and better water systems.

  • notes that the pump, forgotten for more than a thousand years, is reinvented by the Dutch.

  • looks at other early inventions that improved firefighting including the hose, the hydrant and steam engines.

  • looks at today's firefighters, who take advantage of such technology as quick-action water cannons, protective clothing, self-contained breathing apparatus, panic button devices and thermal imaging cameras.

  • reviews some of the worst fires in history and examines the lessons learned, including the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire and Boston's Coconut Grove nightclub fire.

  • shows how computer modelling can help predict danger areas, including how people might react during a fire.

Teacher's Guide
Escape! Because Accidents Happen -- Fire
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