Firedamp is a general term for flammable gases found in coal mines in Great Britain (U.K.) that posed serious safety issues for miners using open flames for illumination. Accidental ignition of these pockets of gas resulted in dangerous explosions that claimed many lives.
The chemist Humphry Davy came up with a simple solution in 1815 using only a wire mesh. He discovered that a flame could not penetrate the wire mesh, which meant that lamps wrapped in the mesh contained any ignition of gas. While still not a perfect safety feature, the use of the Davy Lamp saved many lives in the British mines.
In the first part of this demo, the flame can be seen traversing the entire tube of methane gas. During the second part, a metal mesh was inserted in the middle of the tube, which stops the flame from igniting the gas on the right side of the tube.
Source: https://youtu.be/rhavaxv3a40 (The Royal Institution)
Uploaded: Oct 23, 2016