Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights
Have you ever heard of a tetrahedron? It’s a concept probably explained during your geometry class.
You might be wondering—why are we talking about geometry? Well, it relates to fire safety.
There are four major components known as the fire tetrahedron. These things have to occur in order for a fire to survive.
Without these four elements, a fire can’t start, and that also means that removing any of these elements can help stop a fire.
Fuel—something to ignite. There has to be something that can act as a fueling agent in order for something to burn. Wood, plastic and fibers are some of the best fuel agents around.
Heat—enough to cause combustion. Depending on what substance you have, the amount of necessary heat will vary. And likely almost anything will either melt or ignite, causing a combustion of some sort.
Oxygen. Just like us, a fire requires oxygen in order to feed the fire. It will help it grow and generate products of combustion. That’s why when you are trying to put a fire out, smothering a fire (removing the oxygen) will help it go down sooner.
Chemical Chain Reaction. The cycle of fuel, heat and oxygen will create a chain reaction, which will keep a fire burning. So, essentially, the feeding of these things will help a fire grow and continue to burn.
Cool it. Obviously, the opposite of hot is cold, and that’s what you will need in order to put a fire out. You can use buckets, gallons or water hoses to help you douse a fire. These things act as cooling agents, which make combustion no longer a possibility. It’s important to remember that heat will make water evaporate so it will take a large amount to adequately cool the fire.
Smother it. Back to what we said before, oxygen feeds the fire, so therefore the only logical thing to do is smother a fire in order to put it out. So whether you are trying to put out a birthday candle or a major fire, the best thing you can do is suffocate it of oxygen.
Starve it. Just like most things in life, if you starve something it will likely die. The same will be said for a fire, starving it of fueling resources, like wood, leaves it with nothing to feed off of. For example, if a wildfire is burning, the best thing you can do is create a boundary of starvation.
Interrupt the chain reaction. Sometimes fires require a greater interruption, so that’s where things like chemical agents can help put a fire out. The chemical halon is a very effective fire retardant, but it has an an elevated potential for ozone depletion, which can be seen as an environmental threat. Because of this, its production has been stopped.
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.