Firefighting & Fire Safety Essentials Guide by Megadox


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1.       Definition of Fire vs. Combustion

(a)      Fire is a result of a rapid combustion reaction.                                                             Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

(b)      Combustion is the self-sustaining process of rapid oxidation of a fuel, which produces heat and

2.       Heat Transfer

(a)      Laws of heat flow state that heat tends to flow from a hot substance to a cold substance.                    Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

(b)      Heat can travel through a burning structure by one or more of three methods:
         (i)      conduction - direct contact or with a medium
         (ii)     convection - movement of air or liquid
         (iii)    radiation - heat transfer in waves where matter doesn’t exist.

3.       Fuels

(a)      Fuels are found in the 3 stages of matter: (i) solids; (ii) liquids; (iii) gases.                            Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

(b)      Only gases burn.

4.       Phases of Fire

(a)      Incipient phase: earliest phase beginning with actual ignition.                                              Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

(b)      Rollover phase: also known as flameover. Takes place when unburned gases accumulate at the
         ceiling level.
(c)      Steady state phase: occurs when enough oxygen and fuel are available for fire growth.
(d)      Flashover phase: occurs when flames flash over the entire room or area.
(e)      Hot smoldering phase: occurs when flames cease if in an air-tight confinement. Back draft can occur
         during this phase.
(f)      Back draft can be the most hazardous condition a fire fighter will ever face. Characteristics of potential
         back draft:
         (i)      pressurized smoke exiting a small opening;
         (ii)     black smoke becoming dense yellow gray;
         (iii)    little or no visible flame;
         (iv)     smoke leaving the building in puffs or at intervals;
         (v)      smoke-stained windows;
         (vi)     muffled sounds;
         (vii)    sudden rapid movement of air when an opening is made.

5.       Fire Extinguishment Theory

(a)      Reduction of temperature                                                                                     Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

(b)      Removal of fuel
(c)      Exclusion of oxygen
(d)      Inhibition of chain reaction

6.    Portable Extinguishers

(a)   Classified A, B, C and D according to their intended use on the 4 classes of fires:                 Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
      (i)      A and B have numerical ratings
      (ii)     C rating means non-conductive
      (iii)    D extinguishers have effectiveness on face plate
      (iv)     Most common type are dry chemical
      (v)      Dry powder is for Type D fires
                                                                                                          Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
(b)   Type A Extinguisher:
      (i)     Rated from 1-A to 40-A.
      (ii)    1-A means the extinguisher contains 1 1/4 gallons of water or 5 liters or dry chemical
      (iii)   2-A means extinguisher contains twice as much as 1-A or 2 1/2 gallons or 10 liters or dry
              chemical equivalent.
                                                                                                          Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
(c)   Type B Extinguisher rated from 1-B to 640-B:
      (i)     Rating based on extinguishing ability of square sheet pans of N-Heptane a flammable
      (ii)    Rating based on non-expert’s ability to extinguish a square footage of burning N-
      (iii)   Example of rating system - an expert can extinguish 150 sq. ft. of N-Heptane. A non-
              expert can extinguish 40% or 60 sq. ft., thus the extinguisher is listed as a 60-B
                                                                                                          Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
(d)   Type C Extinguisher means non-conducting.
(e)   Type D Extinguishers are available in two types - hand carried and wheeled:
      (i)     Hand carried up to 30 lb. of dry powder.
      (ii)    Wheeled models from 150 - 350 lb.
      (iii)   Agent used is sodium chloride (table salt) with flow enhancers and thermoplastic
              materials that enhance crusting.
      (iv)    Cover burning metal with 1-2 inches of material.
                                                                                                          Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
(f)   Use the PASS system with all portable extinguishers:
      (i)     P means PULL THE PIN.
      (ii)    A means AIM.
      (iii)   S means SQUEEZE THE HANDLE.
      (iv)    S means SWEEP T
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