Where large quantities of fire-damp are present, safety-lamps of approved pattern must be used and carefully inspected daily.
The safety property attributed to them is due to the depression of the temperature of the flame or products of explosion to a point below that necessary to ignite fire-damp or coal dust in air from a blown-out shot.
Hydrogen (the fire-damp of the miner), oxygen and nitrogen.
Mine fires may originate from ordinary causes, but in addition they may result from the explosion of fire-damp or from the accidental lighting of jets of fire-damp issuing from the coal.
Mining laws have proved chiefly serviceable in securing the introduction of efficient ventilation, the use of safety-lamps, and of proper explosives, to lessen the danger from fire-damp and coal-dust in the coal-mines, the inspection of machinery for hoisting and haulage, and prevention of accidents due to imperfection in design or in working the machinery.
The terrible effects of fire-damp have led to the adoption of elaborate systems of ventilation, as the most effective safeguard against these explosions is the dilution and removal of the fire-damp as promptly and completely as possible.