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Explosions and Fires

What exactly is an explosion? There are a number of definitions. However, the NFPA Handbook of Fire Protection gives a concise and scientifically accurate definition:

An explosion is “a sudden, rapid release of energy that produced potentially damaging pressures.”

Thus the two elements of an explosion are:

  • Rapid release of energy
  • Dangerous overpressure (by overpressure we mean a pressure above atmospheric)

There are a number of ways to have a rapid release of energy and resulting overpressure. We'll discuss them later but some are listed some below:

  • Condensed phase explosives: manmade materials such as dynamite and TNT.
  • Rupturing containers such as cylinders and tanks
  • Dust explosions: Combustible dust suspended in air.
  • Boiling liquid vapor explosions (BLEVE) and unconfined vapor explosions (UCVE).

While overpressure from explosions can cause damage and injury, they can also be caused by flying fragments and heat.

Explosions may arise from a physical action, e.g. a burst pressurized container. A violent chemical reaction also produces explosions.

The above information is provided by Talbot County Emergency Services in an effort to help you understand why explosions occur.

The fire departments and the Talbot County Department of Emergency Services respond to many different types of fire calls.  They include but are not limited to automatic fire alarms, motor vehicle accidents, woods and brush fires, house fires and commercial building fires.  The Talbot County Department of Emergency Services 9-1-1 Division uses a sophisticated CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system to be sure the closest equipment is sent to each incident. While many incidents require on a response from one station, structure fires, hazardous materials incidents and serious motor vehicle accidents often require multiple companies as well as allied agencies to respond.

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station 90
Headquarters - Located at the Easton Airport on Corkran Road and staffed 24 hours a day.

CERT - Community Emergency Response Team