Understanding the Temperature of Fire Can Help During a Disaster
What is the Temperature of Fire?
Fire is versatile and dangerous. No matter what kind of industry you belong to, a working knowledge of the properties of fire is an important part of fire safety. The temperature of fire varies depending on the source and kind of fire you’re dealing with.
Understanding the nuances of fire temperature will inform your overall knowledge of fire and how it works, so in this blog we’re looking at the temperature of fire and how you can identify it.
Temperature and color
The two most distinguishing properties of fire are heat and color. The color of a flame is directly influenced by the temperature, so you should be able to estimate the temperature of a fire by identifying the color of the flames.
Fire is a result of combustion – a chemical reaction between a fuel and oxygen – and when the reaction produces enough heat, flames are formed. Flames themselves change color over time, and will usually have multiple colors in different parts of the flame.
The hottest part of the flame is the base, so this typically burns with a different color to the outer edges or the rest of the flame body. Blue flames are the hottest, followed by white. After that, yellow, orange and red are the common colors you’ll see in most fires.
It’s interesting to note that, despite the common use of blue as a cold color, and red as a hot color – as they are on taps, for instance – it’s the opposite for fire. Red is usually seen on the outer edge of the flame, where the temperature is lower, while blue is the fiercest, hottest temperature.
Of course, just because there is a hierarchy of temperature for fire, that doesn’t mean that red flames are in any way cold. The fact that you can see flames at all means that the combustion rate is high, so the fuel is burning at a very high temperature.
Red flames, while weaker, can still range from 977°F to 1832°F. The more faint the color, the lower the temperature. A more vibrant red, something closer to orange, will hit the higher end of the scale measuring nearer the 1832°F mark.
Orange flames range from around 2012°F to 2192°F.
White flames are hotter, measuring 2372°F to about 2732°F. The brighter the white, the higher the temperature.
Blue flames, or flames with a blue base, you can expect the temperature to rise dramatically, hitting roughly 4532°F. As you might expect, gas burning fires reach higher temperatures than materials such as wood, paper or textiles, so businesses which store gas tanks such as propane, for example, are most likely to see fires that reach the highest possible temperatures.
Candle flame – The hottest part of a candle flame burns at around 2552°F, while the average temperature is usually 1832°F.
Wood fire – A household wood fire burns at around 1112°F. Temperature can change depending on the type of wood and its condition.
Bonfire – The temperature of a bonfire gradually heats up to around 1112°F, but bonfires can reach 1832-2012°F.
Burning match – For such a small flame, a household match burns at around 1112-1472°F.
Propane torch – Combustion of propane and air is roughly 3452°F. A butane fire will have a similar temperature.
If you experience a fire in your home or business, SERVPRO of West Riverside City has the knowledge and experience to handle smoke damage from a nearby fire or commercial property containing smoke, soot and water damage. Home or office fires as devastating as they are, we can make it, "Like it never even happened."
We are open 24/7 to take those emergency calls!