Theory of Extinguishing a Fire

Theory of Extinguishing a Fire

A fire will continue to burn as long as there is FUEL, OXYGEN and HEAT available. Fire extinguishment is achieved by the removal of either the FUEL, OXYGEN or HEAT or by the interruption of the chemical chain reaction. This is achieved by:

STARVING

Removal of the unburnt material
This includes turning off the gas

SMOTHERING 

Preventing the oxygen (air) from combining with the fuel
This is how a fire blanket works

COOLING

Reducing the temperature of the burning material to below its ignition point.
Adding water to a Class A (solid combustible) fire does this

INTERRUPTION OF THE CHAIN REACTION 

Some extinguishing mediums (eg. Dry chemical powder) accomplish this action and at the same time smother the fire

For Greater Detail On The Theories Of Fire And Its Extinguishment See:
'THEORIES OF FIRE & FIRE EXTINGUISHMENT'

Download the PDF English version of this Home Fire Safety Information Sheet (PDF 31KB)

For further advice ring the Community Safety & Resilience Department 8204 3611, Country callers 1300 737 637

e-mail                   communitysafety@samfs.sa.gov.au

visit our website     www.mfs.sa.gov.au

or call in to            99 Wakefield Street, Adelaide during business hours.