Why does wood burn?

Browse → Science → Energy

Now, here’s a hot topic!

You probably know that wood comes from trees.  Trees are plants just like watermelons and tomatoes but unlike watermelons and tomatoes, wood is not very wet.  Fruits and vegetables are made up of a lot of water, which makes it really hard for fires to get started.  Wood, on the other hand, is really dry and fire-friendly, and that’s one reason why it can burn.

Wood can also burn because it’s made up of pieces that can burn! Chemicals like oxygen and hydrogen are the building blocks of wood. Fire can superheat those chemicals and turn them into gases! They break free from the hard wood and join the fire, leaving the burnt ash behind them.

Heat is a powerful force and it does different things to different substances. Sometimes it makes substances melt and other times, like with wood, it makes them burn!  Because it’s so powerful, it can also be very dangerous, so always let responsible grown-ups handle anything that might involve fire even birthday candles. 

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Quick Exit

    Have you and your family talked about how to act if there’s a fire in your home? If not, it’s a very good idea to come up with a fire escape plan.  Think of a place outside your home that everyone can go to meet up if there’s a fire inside. Check with your grown-up to make sure it’s a safe place. 

    Draw a map of how to get there, and hang it somewhere where you’ll see it often. And practice!  You can never be too prepared! 

    There are lots of ways to play it safe if there’s a fire: staying low to the ground to avoid smoke, checking door knobs to see if they’re hot“”so you know not to go into a hot room, and doing your best not to panic. Ask your grown-up what you should do if there’s a fire. 
Didn't find what you were looking for? Ask the Community          Ask friends & family