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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Every Fire Starts the Same Way

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

Every Fire Starts the Same Way

Fires start in a lot of different places. They have many different causes, but scientifically speaking, they all start the same way.

It sounds like a bit of a riddle, but it’s true, and the fire tetrahedron is proof. This four-sided triangular shape shows us that all fires happen because the same four things all happen at once. Let’s take a look and see what we can learn.

The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel. Every fire has to happen to something—in other words, some object or material has to, as we would say, catch fire. This is what scientists call the fuel source—the thing fires eat away as they burn.

Heat. For any material to burn, it first has to reach a heat point at which it becomes adequately combustible. In other words, something cold won’t catch on fire until it gets warmed up.

Oxygen. Fires actually consume oxygen as they rage through an area, and the rapid oxidation process is a crucial element of combustion. It also depletes the air quality in areas with burning fires.

Chemical Chain Reaction. The chain reaction is the newest addition to what was once called the fire triangle. The indicator is that all fires must have the fuel, the flash-point-level heat and the oxidation process working together, continuously, in order to survive. If the chain reaction isn’t happening, there can be no fire.

Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.

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