Fundamentals of Fire and Fire Control

AIChE Webinar
Originally delivered Sep 16, 2009

This webinar features a live question and answer session with Dr. J. Reed Welker, one of the world’s most respected experts in fire and fire control. It is based on his highly acclaimed two-part video series: “Fundamentals of Fire Behavior” (30 minutes) and “Fire Extinguishment and Control' (40 minutes).

Part One - 'Fundamentals of Fire Behavior' - discusses “What is a fire? How does a fire burn, and what are the things that are necessary for a fire to burn?” Also included are considerations of solid, liquid, and gases as fuels for fires; how each different phase contributes to fire behavior; the importance that chain reactions play in fire propagation; the characteristics of flames, including premixed and diffusion flames and the appearance of “colorless” flames; fire burning rates; flame size; and flame behavior under ambient conditions.

Part Two - “Fire Extinguishment and Control” - shows how accidental fires are generally divided into four classes, depending on the type of fuel being burned. Given that fire protection and fire control methods depend on the fuel class, Dr. Welker discusses how to plan for accidental fires and provide fire control systems to cope with them. He reveals a variety of passive and active methods, which are based on engineering analysis and depend on situations that might be encountered. He considers water, inerting, fire fighting foams, dry chemical agents, and vaporizing liquids as active fire fighting methods.

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Dr. J. Reed Welker

Dr. Reed Welker earned his bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Idaho and his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma.  From 1961 to 1963 he was a group leader and section head at Oil Recovery Corp. in Norman, Oklahoma, where he worked on secondary and tertiary methods of oil recovery.  From 1965 to 1974 he was a research engineer and associate director of the Flame Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Oklahoma Research Institute.  His research included areas of fundamental fire behavior, ignition of materials, and heat transfer from fires.  From 1965 to 1977 he was also...

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