Bihar State Disaster Management Authority

Types & Causes of Fire

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All fire incidents can be  divided in many ways depending  on the cause of fire outbreak,  but broadly there are two types of
fires, one is natural and other is manmade.  Forest fires can be either due to natural or manmade reasons. All residential and
non- residential  structural  fires  are largely manmade. Similarly,   all industrial and chemical fires are due to explosions or fires
made by humans or due to machine failures.

Natural:  Fires which are considered  as natural are basically earthquake,  volcanic  eruption and lightning  -  generated  fires.
The  fire and explosion  risk  associated with an  earthquake is a very complex issue.  Compared with ordinary ( normal ) fires
the fire  and explosion  hazard related to  earthquakes  can  constitute a substantial and heavy risk . Damage to  natural gas systems  during an earthquake is a major cause of large fires.  Again probably  the most  significant  direct  impact  of  power systems on fire following an earthquake is that electric power is a major fire ignition source.In addition to dropped distribution
lines power circuits in damaged houses are another major ignition source.There have been cases where as many as two-thirds
of all ignitions after an earthquake has been attributable to power system.
Manmade:Fire caused by human/machine errors are considered as manmade fires,e.g.industrial or chemical fire disasters,fires
at social gatherings  due to Electrical  short circuit fires, accidental fire and kitchen-fires.  Rural and urban residential and non- residential  structural  fires  are  also largely  manmade fires.  Any confined fire could be due to many reasons like,cooking fire confined  to  container, chimney  or  fuel  fire confined  to chimney, incinerator  overload  or  malfunction,fuel  burner / boiler malfunction, and trash fire.

Causes include:

Cooking/heating equipment



Open flame or ember

Appliance, tool or air conditioning

Child playing

Other heat source

Natural causes: earthquake, volcanic eruption and lightening

Other equipment

Smoking material