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Under One Roof

Canadian Roofing Reference Manual

1.4.1 The Characteristics of Fire Behaviour

Fire behaviour can be understood and predicted if you are familiar with the elements of fire. Fire is a chemical  reaction that requires three elements to be present for the reaction to take place and continue. The three elements are:

  • Heat or an ignition source
  • Fuel source
  • Oxygen

The ignition source can include a material, equipment or operation that emits a flame, spark or radiates heat such as torches, grinding operations and kettles.

Fuel sources include combustible materials such as wood and paper; flammable liquids and gases such as solvents, and propane.

These elements must combine in a precise way for a fire to start and continue to burn. If one of these elements is not present, a fire will not start or if already burning will extinguish.