News In Support

FIRE growth and behavior

Basically, a fire is a chemical reaction in which a carbon based material (fuel), mixes with oxygen (usually as a component of air), and is heated to a point where flammable vapors are produced. These vapors can then come in contact with something that is hot enough to cause vapor ignition, and a resulting fire. In simple terms, something that can burn touches something that is hot, and a fire is produced.

The characteristic smell of smoke is usually the first indication that an incipient fire is underway. It is during this stage that early detection (either human or automatic), followed by a timely response by qualified fire emergency professionals, can control the fire before significant losses occur.

Successful fire suppression is dependent on extinguishing flames before, or immediately upon, flaming combustion. Otherwise, the resulting damage may be too severe to recover from. During the incipient period, a trained person with portable fire extinguishers may be an effective first line of defense. However, should an immediate response fail or the fire grow rapidly, extinguisher capabilities can be surpassed within the first minute. More powerful suppression methods, either fire department hoses or automatic systems, then become essential

Technical Articles


To minimize fire risk and its impact, we should develop and implement comprehensive and objective fire protection programs.
Program elements should include fire prevention efforts, building construction improvements, methods to detect a developing fire and alert emergency personnel, and means to effectively extinguish a fire. Each component is important toward overall accomplishment of the institution's fire safety goal


Collections damage :
Fire generated heat and smoke can severely damage or totally destroy these items beyond repair
Operations and mission damage :
A fire can shut your business down with adverse impact on the organization's mission and its clientele
Structure damage :
A fire can destroy walls, floors, ceiling/roof assemblies and structural support
Knowledge loss :
Books, manuscripts, photographs, films and other archival collections contain a vast wealth of information that can be destroyed by fire.
Injury or loss of life :
The lives of staff and visitors can be endangered
Public relations impact :
Staff and visitors expect safe conditions in heritage buildings.
Building security :
A fire represents the single greatest security threat