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The Basics of Fire

Fire is the rapid oxidation of matter. The chemical process of combustion releases heat and light as well as various reaction products. There are three major types of fire: natural and manmade. Learn more about fire and the causes and effects of fire in this article. Also learn about the different types of firefighting techniques. Here are some basic things you should know about firefighting. If you have any questions, please contact us. We’ll be glad to help!

Combustion

There are three major stages to the combustion process, and the earlier they are detected, the lower the risk of loss of life and property damage. There are three modes of combustion: premixed flames, diffusion flames, and flaming flames. Flames are the most visible part of the fire, and are the result of heat transfer between the fuel and the air. Different materials burn in different ways. Wood, straw, and coal can burn in flaming and non-flaming modes simultaneously.

Fuel

The principle behind a fire safety plan is to reduce the fuel in a building or site. However, preventing the spread of fire is easier said than done. It is important to understand the basic principles behind fuel reduction and the methods used to maintain the results over time. The variables that affect the effectiveness of a fire safety plan are the amount of fuel remaining on site, the size of the treated area, and the weather, humidity, topography, and temperature.

Oxygen

Fire and oxygen were two of the first elements to evolve together. Fire was responsible for the emergence of life on earth. Oxygen levels were low during the Early to Middle Triassic period, 220 million years ago. Fire was scarce or nonexistent. During the Late Triassic and Jurassic periods, oxygen levels rose and fell, but were mostly constant. Atmospheres during these periods had high oxygen levels.

Heat

Fire releases two kinds of energy, light and thermal. Light is a result of ionized gases in the flame, while thermal energy is often invisible. During combustion, the fuel and oxygen combine to produce carbon dioxide and water. The reaction starts when the atoms bond and release energy. As they bond, more heat is released. Radiant heat is more damaging than thermal heat. Here’s how to protect yourself from radiant heat.

Convection

Flame propagation is a process in which heat is transferred from a heated surface to another, by convection. In addition to radiant heating, this process can result in the rapid re-heating of a particle when hot gases are impinged on it from the flaming front. During this process, particles are rapidly heated and pre-ignite. These phenomena have important implications for fire safety. But how does fire spread?