Industrial Fire Fighting

Issue 3 and Volume 105.

Industrial Fire Fighting Part 2 of a Series III—The Chemistry of Fire (Continued) But now let us look into how a fire starts (and consequently how to prevent one from starting). In addition to the three elements required for a fire to progress, it is necessary to have two more conditions in order to start a fire (Fig. 1). First, there must be a source of ignition, such as an open flame (a match flame has a temperature of about 1,800° F.), a spark, or some material heated to above the Ignition Temperature of the vapor from the fuel involved. This is about 500° F. for gasoline, and as low as 212° for carbon-bisulphide, far below the temperature of about 950° F. required for metal to become even “dull red hot.” Second, the vapor must be mixed with just the right amount of air. For example, a mixture of less…

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