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The first safety lamp was made and tested by Sir Humphrey Davy (1778-1829) in 1815. The naked flames of candles or oil lamps could ignite the gases often present underground in coal mines, and cause explosions. The safety lamp prevented this happening. If methane gas enters a Davy Lamp and is ignited, the flame will not escape through the gauze because contact with fine iron wire lowers the temperature of the gas below ignition point.

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