The elements needed for a fire to exist
Fire is both something that we depend on in order to heat our homes and to cook our food, as well as being something that we need to protect ourselves from. Having a fire breakout at home or in the workplace is most people’s worst nightmare. Fire spreads incredibly quickly and it is due to this and many other reasons that it is important that businesses have training and advice from Fire Safety Consultancy Bristol companies in order to identify any particular risk areas and to put in place procedures that should be followed in the event of a fire.
Fire is possible as a result of something that is known as the combustion triangle or the fire triangle. This is something that is taught to children in their science lessons at school. Understanding this triangle not only helps you to understand how fires occur but can also help you to eliminate one.
The triangle essentially shows the chemical reaction that needs to take place in order for a fire to be created. There are three elements that need to be present, a fuel source, heat and oxygen. These all need to exist in order for the fire to light and equally by removing one of these elements you can extinguish a fire. By taking each element in turn it is possible to understand the existence of fire in more detail and this knowledge has then been used to develop fire safety products and is used alongside more in depth knowledge and training to support the fire service.
Fuel – this is essentially an y material that will burn and can include items such as paper, wood, coal, charcoal and any other flammable or combustible material. These materials will all have different burn rates and temperatures due to their make-up and natural moisture content.
Heat – Heat is what causes the materials to ignite. Any combustible material will release what is known as flammable vapours and when heat is present these will combust. It is the heat that maintenance the presence of the fire and causes it to spread. The heat effectively removes the moisture from the fuel source as it pre-heats the fuel and the air that surrounds it.
Oxygen – All fires need oxygen to be present in order to stay lit. When oxygen is removed from the air surrounding a fire it will die out very quickly. It has been noted that fires only need air hat is made up of 16% oxygen in order to remain alight. This is the oxidising part of the chemical reaction that takes place.
As already mentioned, in order to put a fire out one of the above elements needs to be removed. When heat is removed the fire will cool down and go out, when fuel is removed the fire will smoulder before going out and finally when oxygen is removed the fire will effectively suffocate.