Letter to a person who fears fire from the POV of a Bunsen Burner

Essay by mysticasendMiddle School, 6th gradeA+, March 2003

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Dear PWFF(person who fears fire),

I am greatly saddened to know that you shun me because of your fear of fire. Actually, when you do experiments in the laboratory you have to heat or burn things. The most convenient way is to use a Bunsen burner, like me.

When using a Bunsen burner for heating, you must observe some rules of thumb. Make sure the rubber tubing connecting the Bunsen burner is secure and gas is not leaking. Place the Bunsen burner on a heat-proof mat. You wouldn't want to make the table catch fire, would you? Keep books and paper away from the Bunsen burner. Girls should tie up their hair. Put on a pair of safety goggles. Also, the air hole should be fully closed when lighting the Bunsen burner.

Sometimes the Bunsen burner may 'strike back' if the air-hole is fully open. The flame changes to a green colour and produces a loud noise.

You should turn off the gas tap immediately. When there is a 'strike back', yopu should never touch the chimney and collar even after a while as they are very hot.

After making sure that everything is done, follow these steps to light the Bunsen burner. Simultaneously lift up and turn the gas tap, while using a lighted match or lighter to light the flame. The flame should be yellow. This a luminous flame. Open the air hole slowly by turning the collar. The flame should change colour from yellow to a blue, non-luminous flame. This is the flame used for heating. When you are not heating any more, close the air hole so the non-luminous flame will change back to a luminous flame which is the safety flame, that can be more easily seen...