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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Fire: What makes it spread faster?

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Have you ever thought about what causes a fire to spread so fast? There are several key factors. You may know some of them, one of the most prominent ingredients that causes a fire to spread quickly WITHIN a home is the presence of chemicals and combustibles.

When fire comes into contact with certain chemical and products it causes the fire to burn faster and hotter than it would otherwise.

Another reason for fire to spread quickly vs. slowly is how open the space is. The very popular layout of homes nowadays is the open concept living, dining, and kitchen area. If a fire has less materials to burn through it will move quicker.

Another popular feature in todays homes in ventilation (HVAC) systems. HVAC systems invite fire to move smoothly between rooms and floors without obstruction.

Construction materials and what a home/structure is built out of is another factor to the way fire moves within an area. For example, concrete and steel are much more fire resistant than wood and particleboard. When the wildfires hit the canyon last September, the structures that went up in flames first and the quickest were the manufactured homes.

A good idea would be keeping chemicals and combustibles in a area that is fire resistant, like the garage that has a concrete slab floor, vs. a worse idea like keeping them under the kitchen sink. Why is the kitchen the last place you want to store your cleaning chemicals? The kitchen is the biggest source of fires within a home, with cooking being the biggest cause.

The biggest safety tip with fire prevention is to never ignore the potential source of a fire being started.

Like a spark when you flip the light switch, or the flickering of lights in a room.

Like leaving food cooking on the stove and leaving the room.

Like leaving candles burning when we are not using them.

Living life day to day we fall into a rhythm of comfort, we start to trick our minds into being comfortable with something we know is not the safest choice. Thoughts like, “Well, the candle burned fine yesterday for 3 hours while I was in the same room, so what difference does it make if I’m IN the room or not?

The bottom line is, stay safe, stay aware, and know the risks of fire within your home.

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