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Fire Exothermic Reaction, Fuel Oxygen Heat, Smoke Light Heat

Fire also known as combustion is a sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the by-products of combustion being; heat, smoke & electromagnetic radiation (light). 

Four things must be present at the same time in order to produce combustion:

  • Fuel —Any combustible material - solid, liquid or gas. Most solids and liquids must vaporize before they will burn.
  • Oxidant — An oxidant (usually oxygen) - Sufficient oxygen must be present in the atmosphere surrounding the fuel for combustion.
  • Heat — Sufficient heat energy must be applied to raise the fuel to it's ignition temperature
  • Chemical, exothermic reaction — This reaction can occur when all three of the above elements are present in the proper conditions and proportions. Fire (rapid oxidisation) is the result of this chemical reaction.


In preparing this definition, we have drawn from various sources including Legislation, Codes, Standards and industry information, research and knowledge.  Like the english language, these definitions may subtly change from time to time. As such these definitions are provided solely on the basis that users will be responsible for making their own assessment of the definition and and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.