Flash fire: Risk and prevention tips


What is flash fire?

Flash fire is defined by NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) as a type of short-duration fire that spreads by means of a flame front rapidly through a diffuse fuel, such as dust, gas, or the vapors of an ignitable liquid, without the production of damaging pressure.

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It can also be said to be is a sudden, intense fire, which occurs when a flammable gas, dust or combustible liquid is mixed with air in concentrations suitable for combustion. It is often characterized by high temperature, short duration, and a rapidly moving flame front. In majority of exposures it lasted between 2 to 2.25 seconds.

Read Also: 30 Important house fire prevention tips

Hazards/Risk of flash fire

  • Heat flux of approximately 84kW/m2 and typically last less than three seconds.
  • Flash fire is a particular danger in enclosed spaces, as even a relatively small fire can consume enough oxygen and produce enough smoke to cause death.
  • When inhaled, the heated air resulting from a flash fire can cause serious damage to the tissue of the lungs.
  • Can cause damage from thermal radiation and secondary fires.
  •  It can possibly lead to death by asphyxiation.
  • Flash fires can lead to smoke burns.

Read Also: Basic home fire safety: Everything you should know

Flash Fire Prevention Tips

  1. Do not store hazardous materials inside your home.
  2. Don’t use combustible and flammable products near a flame or heat source, such as pilot lights, lit cigarettes, and operating equipment or engines.
  3. Use proper storage containers for hazardous materials (Use recommended containers as specified by the manufacturer) to prevent leaks and spills.
  4. Keep lids on any chemical products properly closed and sealed always.
  5. Recycle or dispose of hazardous household materials at your local hazardous material processing center. If it must be stored before disposal, it must be labelled adequately.
  6. Keep hazardous products out of reach of children
  7. Clean spills promptly and according to product directions
  8. Protective clothing made of fire-retardant materials (e.g. Nomex) can reduces or prevents thermal injury in the body areas that they cover during the incident.

Read Also: Fire protection and components of fire protection


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