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Accelerants and arson

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Address the following 750-900 words:
Describe what a fire is in terms of its physical properties.
Identify and explain the 3 elements that make up the fire triangle.
Explain the oxidation process.
How is the process affected by how fast the oxidation occurs?
What are the primary accelerants? Identify and describe them.
What do they leave behind chemically after they burn? Explain.
How can investigators search for and find trace elements of the accelerants?
What are they looking for at the scene that indicates accelerants were used?
Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

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Solution Summary

The physical properties of fire and the oxidation process are discussed.

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Address the following 750-900 words:
Describe what a fire is in terms of its physical properties.

A fire represents combustion, which is a self-sustaining process of rapid oxidation of a fuel being reduced by an oxidizing agent along with the evolution of heat and light. These are the physical characteristics germane to fires. Fires can vary from very slow oxidation, as in rusting, to very fast oxidation, such as detonations and explosions with the two most common types of fire including smoldering fires and flaming or free-burning fires. A widely used definition of fire, is any combustible process wherein rapid oxidation at elevated temperatures occurs, which is accompanied by an evolution of heated gaseous products of combustion, and the emission of visible and invisible radiation. The key focus in regard to oxidation is that it occurs rapidly in fires, which separates oxidation in human beings bodies when humans metabolize food.

For a fire to occur, an external ignition source in the form of a flame, spark, or hot ember must first happen, which subsequently heats the fuel in the presence of oxygen increasing molecular activity as fuel and oxygen are heated, and when sufficiently heated, a self-sustaining chemical chain reaction or molecular activity occurs between the fuel ...

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  • Masters of Science , Kaplan University
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