Course Syllabus

Fire 72: Fire Behavior and Combustion

Section 1426, Fall 2019 Online Class

Image of full blown structure fire

Printable Version of the Syllabus link for down load:  SYLLABUS Fall Online 2019.doc

PDF Version for Chapter One:  Chapter1 PDF Fire Behavior and Combustion.pdf

Chapter One Audio of Lecture: Chapter one Audio Fall 2018.MP3

Power Point of Chapter 1 that goes with the audio of the aforementioned presentation


Audio of Chapter 3  

Chapter Three Power Point lecture Physical and Chemical Change Ch03_PhysicalandChemicalChange.ppt

Having difficulty of uploading the audio, I am working trying to resove the problem. If the problem prosists, I will try resovle it by Thursday at the lateset. Again I will be out until Wendesday Sept. 12, 2018 in observing the Jewish New Year.    <<<Use this to get the Audio for Chapter Three!!!

Audio For Chapter 4: Flow in Fluids Link  Chapter 4 Fall 2018 Audio.MP3

Power Point for Chapter 4: CH04_FlowofFluids.ppt

Power Point For Chapter 5 Heat Transfer Link:  CH05_HeatTransfer.ppt

Audio For Chapter 5 Heat Transfer Link:   Audio Chapter 5 Fall 2018.MP3

Power Point for Chapter 6 Material: Fire, Combustability, and Flammability Link: Ch06_CombustionFireandFlammability.pptx

Audio for Chapter 6 Material: Fire, Combustability, and Flammability Link: Audio Chapter 6 Fall 2018.MP3

Audio Chapter 7 Fall 2018.MP3

Power Point and Audio for Chapter 8: Fire Characteristics of Liquid Combustabiles:


Audio of Chapter 8 Fall 2018.MP3

Audio for part 1 of Chapter 9 Fire Characteristics of Solid Combustibles link below: You will need to copy and paste the link below into a search engine such as google, for example.

Course Description:  

This course is structured to give the student, who is in the fire service or is striving to get into the fire service, the knowledge of the behavior of fire and the laws that govern said behavior. The class will be technical in nature, but degree of difficulty will be such that it will not be hard for those students who make an honest effort in the class. The class will involve a lot reading and studying. The information is going to be presented in a manner that relates to what will be encountered in the field of firefighting.

Important Points:
• Complete assignments on time to avoid losing points toward your final grade.

• Due to technical nature of the course, you must complete “reading assignments.” prior to the On-line lecture. The On-line lecture is to clear up concepts or points in need of further explanation.

• You need to study “the specific On-line lecture notes and chapter” prior to the quiz. If you “study”, you will have a much better chance of passing the quizzes. Please Note! You will have certain time limit to take the given quiz (30 minutes) in time and the quiz will be on the website for 6 days!

For those of you taking this course, you will be embarking, on a course of study, which affords a great deal of freedom. However, this freedom requires a great deal of discipline and dedication to the course work. This is the type of class work, if you fall behind, you will have hard time to catch back up on your work. The DEADLINES are as with any other college level course of study, FIRM. You will know from the first day of class when all assignments are due. The form of notification will be the following: Web-site, syllabus and reminders from me via e-mail and postings on the “Announcements ” on this website.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Define basic terms and concepts related to fire behavior and chemistry.
  2. Identify states of matter and describe chemical processes associated with combustion.
  3. Analyze physical conditions which determine states of matter and influence fire behavior.
  4. Describe fire suppression agents and their properties.
  5. Compare and contrast methods and techniques of fire suppression.


Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Summarize the impact of fire in the United States
  2. Describe the activities conducted by fire research agencies
  3. Identify the systems of measurement used in the scientific study of fire behavior
  4. Describe the difference between matter and energy
  5. Identify the three physical states of matter
  6. Summarize the nomenclature used in the scientific study of fire behavior
  7. Describe the chemistry of natural fire combustion
  8. Summarize the laws of thermodynamics and heat transfer
  9. Describe the three modes of combustion
  10. Distinguish between the different types of ignition and the factors that influence them
  11. Analyze the chemistry of flame spread as it relates to fire behavior
  12. Define the concept of burn rate and the variables that effect its performance
  13. Identify the common products of combustion and their hazards
  14. Describe the development of fire in an enclosed environment and the influence of smoke movement and ventilation
  15. Describe the most effective suppression methods on the various classes of fire
  16. Identify the environmental factors that affect the start and spread of a wild-land fire
  17. Define explosive fire behavior and distinguish between the different types of explosions

Topics and Scope:

  1. Introduction To The Study Of Fire
  2. History of fire
  3. Natural causes of fire
  4. Fire's impact on society
  5. Fire research
  6. Systems of measurement
  7. Matter and Combustion
  8. Matter
  9. Properties
  10. Chemical change
  11. Conservation of mass and energy
  12. Types of natural fires
  13. Combustion in natural fires

III. Heat Transfer and the Three Theories of Fire

  1. Thermodynamics
  2. Heat Transfer
  3. The theories of fire
  4. Ignition
  5. Piloted and auto ignition
  6. Humidity chemical kinetics
  7. Evaporation
  8. Boiling point
  9. Flammable limits
  10. Flash point
  11. Spontaneous combustion
  12. Solid fuels ignition
  13. Flame Spread
  14. Smoldering and flaming combustion
  15. Surface combustion
  16. Flame and fire spread
  17. Wind aided and opposed flow
  18. Pyrolsis
  19. Flame spread on solid surfaces
  20. Flame spread on porous arrays
  21. Flame spread on liquids
  22. Typical spread rates
  23. Standard test methods
  24. Burn Rates
  25. Mass loss rate
  26. Mass burn rate
  27. Mass burning flux
  28. Burn rate variables
  29. Heat of gasification
  30. Energy release rates

VII. Combustion Products

  1. Chemical composition
  2. Burn process
  3. Yields
  4. Concentrations
  5. Hazards

VIII. Compartment Fires

  1. Stages of fire development
  2. Compartment dynamics
  3. Extinguishment Theory
  4. Classes of fire
  5. Methods of extinguishment
  6. Wildland Fire Behavior
  7. The fire triangle
  8. Modes of heat transfer
  9. Environmental factors
  10. Fuel types and factors
  11. Topography
  12. Fire weather
  13. Explosive Fire Behavior
  14. Types of explosions
  15. Cause of explosions
  16. Explosion reaction
  17. Strength of explosives

Representative Assignments:

  1. Reading 10 to 18 pages per week
  2. Research paper
  3. Glossary assignment
  4. Group research project and oral presentation
  5. Oral presentation evaluations
  6. 13 quizzes Primary 20 points each for a total of 260 points (not including the bonus quizzes)
  7. Quizzes will be composed of 10 multiple choice/true false questions with ten points possible. The second part of the quiz will composed of 2 short answer/essay questions. The questions for the short answer will be taken from the challenging questions from the end of the presentations. These two questions will be worth a possible 10 points. The total of the two parts of the quiz will be worth a possible 20 points in total.

Class Meetings:

This an online course with optional face to face meeting if requested.

Instructor Contact:

Tzahal Ben Avraham

Phone: (415) 898-4640 Or Cell Phone (415) 302-7761

Office Hours: [By appointment]

I respond to emails within [24 ] hours or less. From sunset on Fridays through sunset on Saturdays, I do not do  any work or respond to emails or other communications. I observe the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) . So not to worry, I will respond after the Sabbath.

Students will use the Canvas course web site for assignment instructions, submitting assignments, viewing classmate's work, sharing resources, and viewing grades.

Text book:

Textbook: Principles of Fire Behavior and Combustion

Principles of Fire of Fire Behavior and Combustion Fourth Edition

Richard G. Gann & Rayond Friedman

ISBN 978-0-7637-5717-5

You can locate and order textbooks online via the SRJC Bookstore. Note that if you want to pick your books up in Petaluma, you need to order them from the Petaluma Bookstore website.

Important Dates:

Day Class Begins: August, 19, 2019

Day Class Ends:December, 13, 2019

Last Day to Add without instructor's approval: August, 25, 2019

Last Day to Drop with refund: September, 01, 2019

Last Day to Add with instructor's approval: September, 01, 2019

Last Day to Drop without a 'W' symbol: November, 17, 2019

Last Day to Opt for Pass/No Pass: N/A


Dropping the Class:

If you decide to discontinue this course, it is your responsibility to officially drop it to avoid getting no refund (after 10% of course length), a W symbol (after 20%), or a grade (after 60%). Also, for several consecutive, unexplained absences, or not completing assignments the instructor may drop a student.

Class is for a letter grade only!

Instructor Announcements and Q&A Forum:

The instructor will post announcements on the “Instructor Announcements” page in Canvas throughout the semester. Canvas notifies students according to their preferred Notification Preferences as soon as the instructor creates an Announcement. A “Q&A Forum” is also on Canvas to ask for assistance of your classmates or of instructor.
Students who fail to attend the first class (face-to-face courses) or do not log-in to an online class after the second week maybe dropped from the class. It is strongly advised that if you need to miss more than one class/homework deadline in a row that you contact me to avoid being dropped from the class.

Late Policy:

All assignments are due {at midnight PST!} on the due date. A late submission will receive a 20% penalty. Submissions more than one week late are not accepted without prior arrangement. Late work will not be graded unless student sends instructor an email with URL for late work.
Exams& Quizzes:

There will be [online quizzes and written assignments to be completed. Please refer to the assignment section of the syllabus for full details and due dates!. The material for the quizzes comes from the textbook, class lectures and supplemental materials. If any exam is missed, a zero will be recorded as the score. It is your responsibility to take the online exams by the due date.

Grading Policy:

Visit the “Grades” in Canvas to keep track of your grades. I grade [once a week] and post grades and comments on the online Canvas grade book.

Grades will be assigned as follows: 605 points possible not including bonus points!

A 90% 540 points or more
B 80% to 89% 480 to 534 points
C 70% to 79% 420 to 474 points
D 60% 360 to 69%  to 414 points

The points will based on the following: 

Quizzes: (13 primary) 260 points or 40%
Definitions' Assignment: 115 points or 20%
Term Paper: 115 points or 20%
Final Project: 115 points or 20%
Total for the above: 605 points (Not including Bonus points)

Standards of Conduct:

Students who register in SRJC classes are required to abide by the SRJC Student Conduct Standards. Violation of the Standards is basis for referral to the Vice President of Student Services or dismissal from class or from the College. See the Student Code of Conduct page.

Collaborating on or copying of tests or homework in whole or in part will be considered an act of academic dishonesty and result in a grade of 0 for that test or assignment. I encourage students to share information and ideas, but not their work. See these links on


SRJC Writing Center Lessons on avoiding plagiarism
SRJC's statement on Academic Integrity

Special Needs:

Students with disabilities who believe they need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Disability Resources (707) 527-4278), as soon as possible to better ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

If any changes are made to the class schedule during the semester, I will update this Schedule and post an Instructor Announcement on Canvas.

Module Dates Module Topic for the week Chapter in Text book
Week 1 Aug. 19-23 2019 Syllabus / Orientation on Canvas (see links on Home Page) Links on Home Page
Week 2 Aug. 26-30 2019 Fire Measurement and the SI system of Measurement One
Week 3 Sept. 2-6 2019 Physical and Chemical Change Three
Week 4 Sept. 9-13 2019 Flow in Fluids Four
Week 5 Sept. 16-20 2019 Heat Transfer Five
Week 6 Sept. 23-27 2019 Combustion, Fire, and Flammability Six
Week  7 Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 2019 Fire Characteristics: Gaseous Combustibles Seven
Week 8 Oct. 7-11, 2019 Fire Characteristics: Liquid Combustibles Eight
Week 9 Oct. 14-18, 2019 Fire Characteristics: Solid Combustibles -Part one! Pages 130 through 150 Nine
Week 10 Oct. 21-25, 2019 Fire Characteristics: Solid Combustibles -Part Two!  Pages 151 through 17 Nine
Week 12 Nov. 4-8, 2019

Combustion Products

Week 13 Nov. 11-15, 2019

Smoke and Heat Hazards

Week 14

Nov. 18-22, 2019

Fire Fighting Chemicals

Week 15 Dec. 2-6, 2019

Wild-land Fire Behavior

Online Presentation
Week 16 Dec. 9-13, 2019

Explosive Fire Behavior

Online Presentation
Final's Dec. 17-21, 2019 Final project due by 11:59pm 12/22/2019!! Refer to guidelines in the Modules' section
Please Note!  Week of October 28- November 1 (Week 11) was cancelled due the fire and power outages had shut down the college. As can be seen, I had adjusted the schedule for the rest of the semester. You will see the adjustments noted above!! Bonus lecture was taken out to make room for the adjusted  schedule and replaced "Explosive Fire Behavior".

 PLEASE NOTE! The listing below is for assignments, such as, quizzes, written assignments, etc. To view content of the course, you must  use the "Modules" in the left hand column! The "left hand column" can be found near the top of this page!!! 

Course Summary:

Date Details