Marjan, E/CDT Fire Fighting Systems
Oxidation – Combustion – Fire
The chemical process by which a combustible substance combines withoxygen with release of heat to form a new substance, the oxide, is called oxidation.A rapidly-proceeding oxidation with the appearance of light is calledcombustion; the light, flame and heat created during combustion are called fire.
Combustion always depends on four preconditions which must coincide:1.
There must be a combustible substance,2.
Oxygen must have unimpeded access,3.
The ignition temperature of the combustible substance must be attained orexceeded, and4.
The proportion of ingredients necessary for the compound of the combustiblesubstance with oxygen must be attained.
Classes of Fires
The object of subdivision into classes of fires is the appropriate allocation of extinction methods and means to the various combustible substances.
Fires involving solids, mainly organicmaterials, which normally form a glowingmass when burning;
e.g. wood, paper, straw,coal, textiles, car tyres.
Fires involving liquids, or substances whichbecome liquid;
e.g. petrol, oils, greases,lacquers/paints, resins, waxes, tar, ether,alcohols, plastics.
Fires involving gases;
e.g. methane, propane,hydrogen, acetylene, town gas.
Fires involving metals;
e.g. aluminium,magnesium, lithium, sodium, potassium andtheir alloys.