Understanding the Time-Temperature Curve

The Time-Temperature Curve is something that we have seen in textbooks for many years. Many people do not know that the original time-temperature curve dates back to around 1908. The graph depicts the stages of fire growth in time showing how temperature increases and decreases throughout the stages of development.

Due to research on modern fire behavior we now use a different style time-temperature curve. The new time-temp curve shows something called ventilation limited conditions which depicts how temperature will drop due to the limited oxygen rather than the limited fuel. This is a common occurrence in modern fires due to newer construction techniques and newer products which provide much more fuel for combustion.

Take a look at the video below which will explain the differences in the two time-temp curves. We will also explain the differences between fuel limited and vent limited fires.

About Matt Hinkle

Matt Hinkle is a Staff Instructor at the Mississippi State Fire Academy. He has over twelve years of experience in the fire service and has served in many positions throughout his career including; Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Training Officer and Instructor. He has designed local and state training curriculums, coordinated regional training events, and assisted in the development of national training programs. During his service Matt has received several awards including: Firefighter of the Year (Lafayette County Fire Department), Fire Officer of the Year Finalist (MS Burn Association), Medal of Valor (MS Burn Association), and a Letter of Commendation (City of Oxford). Matt has received over 2,000 hours of technical training in many disciplines including: NFPA 1001-I-II (Firefighter I-II), NFPA 1002 (Driver/Operator), NFPA 1041-I-II (Instructor), Hazardous Materials Technician I-II, Rope Rescue Technician I-II, Confined Space Rescue Technician, Trench Rescue Technician, Vehicle Extrication I-II, Search and Rescue Technician I-II-III, EMT-B, and Cave Rescue I-II.

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