The 4 Components for Starting and Ending a Fire | SERVPRO® of Northeast Charlotte
Have you heard of a tetrahedron? Don’t worry, we will share our answer with you! It’s a three-dimensional, triangular shape with four equal sides.
This discussion about the tetrahedron relates to fire safety, believe it or not. In fact, there is something called a fire tetrahedron, which relates to the four major components a fire needs in order to survive! Read on to learn more.
<h34-things-a-fire-needs-to-live">The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live
Fuel. Fuel is clearly what will make something go, and fires need this in order to keep roaring! Things that can easily be burned, like wood, plastic or organic materials, will continually feed a fire with the fuel it needs.
Heat. A fire require heat in order to get it going and keep going. Once something has been exposed to heat, it will eventually ignite or melt, producing more fuel for a fire.
Oxygen. Oxygen is needed by every living thing, and a fire is no exception to the rule. Oxygen provokes an expanding series of chemical reactions, which can generate products of combustion in the process.
Chemical Chain Reaction. A chain reaction resulting from the three items mentioned above is what will continue to feed a fire. So long as the chain reaction isn’t disturbed, a fire will continue to burn.
<h34-ways-to-stop-a-fire">The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire
Cool it. The most common way to stop a fire is to cool it, or exhaust the heat! This is usually accomplished by dousing the fire in water. But remember that because of the heat, the water is likely to evaporate or even boil, so it will take a lot of water to put a fire out.
Smother it. Sometimes a fire can’t be put out with water alone; it will need to be smothered! Removing all oxygen will eventually put the fire out, because you are starving it from the oxygen it needs. This is the mechanism behind the popular “stop, drop and roll” mantra we’re taught as kids.
Starve it. Something has to keep feeding a fire, so therefore logically speaking, the best thing you can do is starve a fire. Remove any fueling agents like wood and grass in order to help the fire come to a natural end.
Interrupt the chain reaction. Another guaranteed success is to interrupt the chain reaction, and you can do this by using chemical agents like halon. While these agents are effective, halon also has an elevated potential for ozone depletion, meaning it is an environmental threat and has been banned.
If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.