Fire Behaviour

Introduction to Fire Behaviour

  • Fire behaviour refers to the manner in which fire interacts with the surrounding environment.
  • It involves the study of how fire ignites, grows, spreads, and extinguishes.

Characteristics of Fire Behaviour

  • Features of fire behaviour include ignition, which deals with how fires start, and properties of flame, such as colour, temperature, speed, and shape.
  • It also involves studying heat transfer, namely conduction, convection, and radiation, which allows the fire to spread.
  • Combustible materials and their properties, like flammability and combustibility, play a vital role in determining the behaviour of a fire.
  • Fire progression is another characteristic which involves studying the growth, fully developed, and decay stages of a fire.

Factors Influencing Fire Behaviour

  • The fuel type impacts how a fire behaves. Different materials can cause a fire to spread slowly or rapidly.
  • The availability of oxygen can greatly influence a fire’s behaviour. More oxygen can lead to a fire burning brighter and hotter.
  • Heat sources - the higher the temperature, the quicker the spread of fire.
  • Environmental conditions, like temperature and humidity, also affect fire behaviour.

Fire Behaviour and Fire Investigation

  • Understanding fire behaviour is crucial to forensic fire investigation. It can help investigators determine the origin and cause of a fire.
  • Patterns left by fire can often give key insights into its behaviour. These can be analysed to reveal the progression of the fire.
  • It’s crucial to collect data accurately and methodically, taking into account all possible influencing factors.
  • The application of knowledge about combustion, fire dynamics, and heat transfer is key in interpreting fire damage and establishing the cause of a fire.

Fire Suppression Strategies Based on Fire Behaviour

  • One major application of understanding fire behaviour is in formulating fire suppression strategies.
  • Common methods for extinguishing fires include removing the fuel source, cooling with water, smothering to cut off oxygen, or interrupting the combustion reaction with chemicals.
  • Efficient and effective fire suppression minimizes damage and risk to life.