Safety Manual. Revised Edition 2010

Revised Edition 2010


1.6 Fires

Combustion is a chemical reaction that takes place when the vapours given off by a combustible substance rapidly combine with the oxygen in the air.

This reaction is produced with the release of luminous and calorific energy, constituting “fire”. The progression in time and space of fire is what is known as “a fire”.

Four factors are needed for fire to be produced, which make up what is known as the “fire tetrahedron”.

These factors are:

  • Fuel.
  • Oxygen.
  • Activation energy.
  • Chain reaction.

Eliminating one of the aforementioned factors will lead to the fire being extinguished and so the possibility of a fire developing disappears. As it is almost impossible to eliminate the fuel, fire-fighting is mainly based on eliminating one or more of the other factors.

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