§ The process of combustion during which flammable materials burn producing heat, accompanied by flames, smoke or toxic gasses, or any combination of these.
§ The common misconception is that fire burns the actual piece of wood or fuel. It is the gasses given off by an object that actually burn.
§ Heat causes objects to give off these flammable gasses, and when the gasses reach their ignition temperature you see the light given off during the oxidation process, known as fire.
§ Fire itself generates more heat to the object and thus an endless cycle begins until all of the gasses have been exhausted from an object. Then the remaining particles or ash are what is left.
Capable of being readily ignited and burning in air.
An exothermic reaction of a substance with oxygen, causing the release of heat and generally accompanied by flames, or glowing, and/or the emission of gasses or smoke.
Any material in a building or structure that is combustible as determined by a Combustibility Test for materials.
The potential for any item to give rise to a fire when exposed to an ignition source. Potential for injury and/or damage from fire
Fire compartment Enclosed space, which may be subdivided, separated from adjoining spaces within the building by elements of construction having a specified fire resistance
Fire exposure Extent to which persons, animals or items are subjected to the conditions created by fire
Fire resistance Ability of an item to fulfil for a stated period of time the required stability and/or integrity and/or thermal insulation, and/or other expected duty specified in a standard fire-resistance test
Flash-over Transition to a state of total surface involvement in a fire of combustible materials within an enclosure
The heat energy potential of the entire combustible contents of a building space, including furnishings, built in and removable items, and partitions, floors and ceilings, normally expressed as mega joules (MJ).
Fire Load Density:
The fire load divided by the floor area, expressed in joules per square metre (J/m2).
The ability of a constructed element, when exposed to a fire on one side, to prevent the passage of flames and hot gasses or the occurrence of flames on the unexposed side, for a stated period of time determined in a standard fire resistance test.
The isolation of one part of a building by a fire resistant method of construction.
A limit state of collapse or loss of structural integrity due to fire.
An essential part of any building fire safety system (probably the most important part) is training and education of the occupants in matters of fire safety.
At its most basic, is based upon the principle of keeping fuel sources and ignition sources separate.
The ability of an element of construction, component or structure to fulfil, for a stated period of time, the required structural adequacy, integrity, thermal insulation or other expected duty, during exposure to a standard fire resistance test.
Exothermic and Endothermic
An exothermic process is one that gives off heat i.e. heat is transferred to the surroundings. Many chemical reactions release energy in the form of heat, light, or sound. Exothermic reactions may occur spontaneously and may even be explosive.
An endothermic process is one in which heat has to be supplied to the system from the surroundings. An endothermic reaction must absorb energy in order to proceed and cannot occur spontaneously. Work must be done in order to get these reactions to occur. When endothermic reactions absorb energy, a temperature drop is measured during the reaction.
A thermoneutral process is one that neither requires heat from the surroundings nor gives off energy to the surroundings.
These terms are usually applied to chemical reactions. A chemical reaction can only be one of these three terms at once. A reaction that is exothermic will be endothermic if run backward and vice-versa.
A term used to describe a combustion reaction in which all heat generated is retained in the products of combustion. Adiabatic flame temperature is the theoretical temperature that would be attained by the products of combustion provided the entire chemical energy of the fuel, the sensible heat content of the fuel and combustion above the datum temperature were transferred to the products of combustion. This assumes that there is no heat loss to surroundings and no dissociation.
is a reaction involving the breakdown of chemical compounds. In the case of combustion, these are water vapour and carbon dioxide.
describes the correct mixture of ingredients in a chemical reaction. After the reaction is over, no surplus ingredients will be left. In combustion, the stoichiometric ratio also is called correct, ideal or perfect ratio.
That part of the irreversible chemical decomposition caused solely by a rise in temperature. This decomposition can provide a buffer between the burning surface and the material beneath
Australian Fire Standards (Parts of AS 1530)
AS 1530.1-1994 :