The 4 Components Needed to Keep a Fire Burning | SERVPRO® of South Bronx
Do you know what a tetrahedron is? It’s a three-dimensional, triangular shape with four equal sides.
Now that you understand what that is, you should know there is something known as a fire tetrahedron. In short, it simply means that there are four components that must be present for a fire to burn.
Fuel. One of the most obvious things is there has to be something that fuels a fire. This can be just about anything, including wood, grass or plastics. Pretty much anything in the line of fire can act as a fueling agent.
Heat. Fire is often used to provide heat, and therefore in order for it to burn, it has to become hot enough that whatever is exposed to heat will either melt or burn.
Oxygen. Just like oxygen helps plants to grow and bodies to function, it also is a necessity for fires to burn. Oxygen feeds the fire so that it can continue to grow and generate products of combustion in the process.
Chemical Chain Reaction. The cycle of feeding heat, fuel and oxygen will produce a chain reaction. As the chain reaction happens, it will continue until something affects the ability to proceed.
Cool it. When it comes to putting out a fire, you likely think of buckets or hoses full of water dousing a burning building. This solution is used to cool the burning material so quickly that the heat can’t compete.
Smother it. If a fire can’t get oxygen, it will die. The process of smothering a fire can be as simple as snuffing a candle, or as complicated as chemically suffocating a fire.
Starve it. A fire will burn as long as it has adequate fuel, so if you’re going to starve it, remove fueling agents out of the line of fire. This will eventually cause it to starve and come to a natural end.
Interrupt the chain reaction. There are chemical agents that can help you effectively put a fire out. Halon can be very effective, but it has an elevated potential for ozone depletion, which makes it 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.