Home Business Small Business Understanding the Spread of a Fire and Avoiding Dangers

Understanding the Spread of a Fire and Avoiding Dangers

8 min read

A spreading fire carries risk. A homeowner needs to do his best to lower the risks. He needs to understand fire categories, identify the corrosive elements and reckon the direction of the fire.

You can do everything to prevent a fire from occurring, but that doesn’t mean a fire won’t occur. A momentary lack of alertness or a trivial negligence might cause a fire to occur. Therefore, you need to know how to fight a fire if it suddenly erupts.

The training that firefighters receive enables them to identify fire patterns, separate one fire from another and quickly select a device to put out a fire. You haven’t received any formal training, which means you don’t know how to extinguish a fire.


Stop the spread

You may not be a pro, but you can still battle out a fire if you know how to stop its spread. As a matter of fact, firefighters do the same. They prevent a fire from spreading and make it localized, then use firefighting equipment and strategies to put it out.


But it’s not as easy as it sounds. A spreading fire quickly generates smoke and toxic gases. The smoke contains corrosive elements, which are severely harmful to health. Preventing the spread of a fire indicates being exposed to such an environment.

Firefighters wear oxygen masks, which allow for breathing amid a lot of smoke. They wear safety goggles, which protect their eyes from occasional flames and small sparks of fires. They also wear fire jackets and coats, which protect their bodies from fires. You can try those stuff too.

Factors behind fire spread

Understanding the spread of a fire is the first step to preventing it. The factors contributing the spread are:

  • Oxygen
  • Fuel source
  • Heat


A small ignition might be the fire origin and source, but its spread depends on three said factors. In a residential building, a fire might start in a room with no potential heat source, but if adjacent rooms have combustible materials such as paper, plastic or primer, the fire may quickly spread. So your first priority is to keep flammable materials away in a safe zone with no heat source.

Fire categories

There are five categories in total; Class A fire, Class B fire, Class C fire, Class D fire and Class F fire. A Class A fire occurs from regular inflammable materials such as paper, wood, etc. A class B fire occurs from combustible liquids such as petrol and oil. A class C fire occurs from faulty electrical equipment like frayed wiring. A class D fire occurs from flammable metals, and Class F fire occurs from fat fryers and cooking oils.

Understanding the categories help you identify a fire and correctly anticipate how quickly it can spread out; this gives you an edge in preventing its spread.

Residential fire spread

It is the most common type of fire in the US. By its first sight, homeowners call up the local fire department. They do the right thing because there’s no point in wasting time when danger is right at their front doors.


But there are simple techniques that can save a house from a spreading fire. The process requires you to have a rescue plan in mind and find a way to ventilate. Find a line through the door at the front, and use it to get to the escape route. Your job becomes easy if the construction of the building is in line with relevant NFPA codes.

Highrise fire spread

A highrise consists of a large area; it can have as much as 20000 sq. ft. area. It’s nearly impossible for firefighters to conduct a search or rescue operation through the entire area. Many high-rise buildings are office premises, which means they have cubicles and smoking lounges. Searching for a fire in them is difficult, if not impossible.

When a high rise catches a fire, firefighters search for it in specific areas because they’ve been instructed to do so. Case studies help them in this pursuit. Reports of previous high rise fires help them figure out the locations where they can find a fire. The direction of a fire is important in picking fighting equipment. For example, if the direction is vertical, the firefighters need a stretched hose-line.

Fight or flight

To stay safe from a fire, you either need to fight or flight. All through this article, I’ve discussed the ways a fire can spread in residential and commercial premises. You can fight the fire with the help of resources, mentioned in this article. Or you can keep yourself at a safe distance from it. Whatever you do, take all the information shared here seriously to avoid any danger.

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Allan Lloyd has more than five years of experience as a content developer. A web enthusiast, he has a penchant for framing content for diverse industries. He has framed content for different blogging platforms. His areas of interest include health, business, news, entertainment and home improvement. He frames informative write ups and tries to make all of them interesting for the readers.

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