The Science Behind Fire

We see fire almost every single day, whether you’re cooking dinner, lighting a candle, or simply trying to stay warm. But how much do you know about the science behind fire?

At Fire Safe Doors, we’re experts in fire protection. But in order to protect against something, first you need to understand it.

Fire is often mistaken as a thing rather than an event. It’s often referred to as one of the four main elements, along with air, earth, and water. But fire isn’t actually an element at all.

Credit: Duong Nhan

Fire is the result of a chemical reaction between heat, oxygen and fuel, which means it can be extinguished by starving the flame of one of these components.

The colour of a flame corresponds to the amount of oxygen the fire has access to, and the more oxygen there is, the hotter the flame. Low-oxygen fires often emit a yellow flame, and on the other end of the scale, fires that are high in oxygen appear bright blue.

As far as scientists are aware, Earth is the only planet in the universe that has enough oxygen for fire to be able to burn.

Fire spreads faster than you might think, taking less than 30 seconds for a small flame to become out of control. This is why it is necessary to never leave a flame, or heater unattended.

Some materials are better fuels for fires than others due to a combination of factors. But in general, fires spread through houses quicker than they did about thirty years ago due to the quantity of cheaper, synthetic materials used in furniture and furnishings.

We hope you’ll never need a fire door, but install ing one is an absolute necessity to slow the spread of a fire as much as possible.

As you might expect, the majority of household fires start in the kitchen, which can almost always be extinguished with a fire blanket if you notice it quickly enough. This is why you should learn how to use a fire blanket and install one in an easily accessible area of your kitchen.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs. 

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