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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

Nature of Smoke

What is Smoke

Primary Components

Smoke is defined by the NFPA NFPA:
National Fire Protection Association (1995, Section 1-4) as:
"The airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases evolved when a material undergoes pyrolysis pyrolysis:
Chemical changes brought about by the action of heat.or combustion, together with quantity of air that is or otherwise mixed into the mass."

Based on this definition, there are two primary components of the mixture known as "smoke": Combustion Products Entrained Air The products of combustion usually include particulates, unburned fuel, water vapor, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and some other toxic and corrosive gases. Air is entrained throughout the entire height of the smoke plume below a smoke layer. Proportionally, the smoke is mostly entrained air. In the area between the base and tip of the flames, approximately 90% of the entrained air is not consumed in the combustion process and only dilutes the combustion products.

Helpful HintHelpful Hint
Generally smoke is thought of as being visible, but the NFPA definition of smoke includes "invisible smoke" due to the burning of materials that produce little or no particulate matter such as hydrogen, natural gas, and alcohol.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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