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Fires and thermal environments

Controlled fires are used for a variety of purposes, such as cooking, melting metals, heating, etc. Generally, it can be ignited by burning a single combustible substance. The combustible substance can be a solid, liquid, and/or gas, and it can burn in aerial oxygen at a temperature higher than its ignition temperature. Three ingredients— combustible substance(s), high temperature, and oxygen—generate the controlled fire through a chemical reaction, and these components together represent the fire tetrahedron [39,40]. The rate of chemical reaction to set a controlled fire largely depends on the availability of combustible substances and oxygen [41]. The reaction rate increases with the abundant supply of combustible substances and oxygen. In many cases, the physical properties of combustible substances control the reaction rate. For example, the moisture content of a combustible substance is one of the most important properties, especially at the start of a controlled fire. If a combustible substance (eg, wood, hay) does not contain any moisture (dry state), a rapid chemical reaction may occur even in the presence of less oxygen. During the rapid reaction stage, the controlled fire may propagate quickly toward the surrounding areas and may turn into a devastating uncontrolled fire.

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