A backdraft fire can possibly occur when a fire breaks out inside a residential or commercial property. But what is it? It’s basically an explosion that occurs when new air connects with a fire that has devoured all the available oxygen. The three main components of any fire are oxygen, ambient heat, and an ignition source. Unfortunately, this circumstance can be hazardous for anyone, including firefighters.
The Occurrence of a Backdraft Fire
Again, a backdraft fire is a sudden explosion provoked by new oxygen entering a fire’s circle. Once a fire has consumed all the available oxygen, it will dwindle. However, a guttering fire is no less dangerous. So, the presence of heat remains even if you don’t see any roaring flames.
Moreover, fires generate smoke, and smoke consists of carbon and soot. The various colors of smoke are based on how much oxygen a fire can consume. In addition, smoke always rises and becomes hard to see due to its density. Plus, the smoke can be so hot it can trigger another fire. Most importantly, remember that odd brown discolorations and warping and cracking on windows and doors signal a backdraft fire is possible.
What Can Fire Responders Do?
Even though most people don’t consider fires as living creatures, they are dangerous. After all, fires are often defined as unpredictable and will do anything to sustain themselves and survive. Also, ventilation through so-called vertical openings is the only option for responders to utilize. For example, venting the heat and pressure through the roof makes entering the room or building safer.
Then firefighters and other responders can begin extinguishing the fire. Although ventilating the heat through a window or door may make sense, it sure is the quickest way to trigger a backdraft fire.
Signs of a Backdraft Fire
Conditions for backdraft may include:
- Sudden, quick movement of air and smoke inward when an opening is made
- Little or no visible flame
- A well-sealed building may indicate excessive heat buildup
- Black smoke becomes dense and yellow without visible flames
- Smoke-stained windows with visible cracking or rattling
- The smoke leaves the structure in puffs and goes back in. Also, the fire is attempting to find oxygen, which appears as smoke pulling in through cracks or under doors.
Remember, a backdraft fire can also occur in energy-efficient buildings with excellent insulation and sealed windows.
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience designing, installing, inspecting, and repairing residential and commercial fire protection systems. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480.