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Safety lamp facts for kids

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Davy lamp
Safety lamp

A safety lamp is a miner's lamp with a covered flame that used to be used in coal mines.

Types of safety lamps

The first safety lamp was invented by William Reid Clanny. It used bellows and water to separate gasses. Later, two newer designs were invented. One newer design was the Geordie lamp, made by George Stephenson, and the other was the Davy lamp, made by Sir Humphry Davy. In 1815, Davy discovered that if a flame was in a lamp, it would not ignite the flammable gases in mines.

How it works

Coal mines are dangerous because of flammable gasses like methane that can accumulate (gather together). A lamp with a naked (exposed) flame might make these flammable gasses catch fire, causing an explosion, which could kill people. The safety lamp prevents the hot flame of the lamp touching the flammable gasses, reducing the chance of an explosion.

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