Fire Can’t Start Without These 4 Major Things | SERVPRO® of Conway & Faulkner Counties
Do you remember what a tetrahedron is? For some of us, it’s been a while since we had a geometry quiz so to save us all time—it’s a three-dimensional, triangular shape with four equal sides.
This relates to fire safety because there is something called a fire tetrahedron. This is a way of saying that it requires four components for a fire to live. With only one component missing, a fire will die.
Fuel. The saying “just adding fuel to the fire,” is what we think of when we see that fire needs fuel. The fuel can be things like wood, plastic or other sources. Essentially, it’s something that can easily be burned.
Heat. We are taught as young children that fire is hot. So it’s only logical to know that once something is exposed to heat, it will eventually ignite of melt.
Oxygen. Oxygen is what helps breathe life into anything—and that includes fire. Oxygen provides an expanding series of chemical reactions that actually generate the combustion process.
Chemical Chain Reaction. Things always cause a type of chain reaction. In the case of a fire, this is what continues to feed a fire.
Cool it. When you see a fire, your immediate reaction is to douse it with water. Which is smart, seeing that cooling it down is one of the best ways to put a fire out. It’s important to remember, though, that because of the high heat, it will likely take lots of water to put a fire out.
Smother it. Sometimes a fire can’t get cooled off enough, so therefore, the best thing you can do is remove the oxygen that it’s feeding off of! Removing the oxygen by smothering it will quickly help a fire go out.
Starve it. If you starve something from the things it needs, it will eventually die. The same is true for a fire—starve it from fueling agents, oxygen or heat, and it will eventually come to a natural end.
Interrupt the chain reaction. The last thing you can do is to interrupt the chain reaction, and you can do this by using chemical agents. A chemical agent called halon is particularly effective at this, but because it has an elevated potential for ozone depletion, it’s considered an environmental threat.
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.