Flash fire

A flash fire is an unexpected, sudden intense fire caused by ignition of flammable solids (including dust), liquids, or gases. It is characterized by high-temperature, short-duration, considerable shock waves, and a rapidly moving flame front.

Flash fires may occur in environments where fuel, typically flammable gas or dust, is mixed with air in concentrations suitable for combustion.

In flash fire explosions, the flame spreads at subsonic velocity, so the overpressure damage is usually negligible and the bulk of the damage comes from the thermal radiation and secondary fires.

Clothing made of fire-retardant materials (eg. Nomex) limits the injury caused by flash fires to the protected body areas. Even normal clothing can provide partial protection.

When inhaled, the heated air resulting from a flash fire can cause serious damage to the tissue of the lungs, possibly leading to death by asphyxiation.

A flash fire is defined by CGSB 155.20-2000 and NFPA 2113 as:
“A rapidly moving flame front which can be a combustion explosion. Flash fire may occur in an environment where fuel and air become mixed in adequate concentrations to combust...flash fire has a heat flux of approximately 84 kW/m2 for relatively short periods of time, typically less than 3 seconds.”

Flash fires can lead to smoke burns.

ee also

* Fuel-air explosive
* Fireball
* Trench effect
* BLEVE
* Vapor cloud fire
* Flashover
* Explosion
* Flash flood
* Air Canada Flight 797

External links

* [http://www.hse.gov.uk/offshore/strategy/flash.htm Explosion Hazard Assessment]
* [http://www.westexinc.com/flash_fire_exposure_analysis.htm Flash fire exposure analysis]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • flash fire — noun A sudden extensive (increase in) fire caused eg by flash over • • • Main Entry: ↑flash * * * flash fire, a very sudden, violent fire, especially one that spreads rapidly through underbrush …   Useful english dictionary

  • flash fire —    A fire that spreads with unusual speed, as one that races over flammable liquids or through combustible gases …   Forensic science glossary

  • Fire hydrant — in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA A fire hydrant (also known colloquially as a fire plug in the United States or as a johnny pump in New York City, because the firemen of the late 19th century were called Johnnies[ …   Wikipedia

  • Fire classes — Comparison of fire classes American European Australian/Asian Fuel/Heat source Class A Class A Class A Ordinary combustibles Class B Class B Class B Flammable liquids Class C Class C Flammable gases Class C UNCLASSIFIED Class E …   Wikipedia

  • flash — I. verb Etymology: Middle English flaschen, of imitative origin Date: 13th century intransitive verb 1. rush, dash used of flowing water 2. to break forth in or like a sudden flame or flare 3. a. to appear suddenly < an idea flash …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Fire marshal — A no smoking sign at a gas station by order of the state fire marshal. The fire marshal is often charged with enforcing fire related laws. For the same job role in the UK, see Fire Safety Inspector. A fire marshal, in the United States and Canada …   Wikipedia

  • Fire extinguisher — Extinguisher redirects here. Extinguisher may also refer to a candle snuffer. A stored pressure fire extinguisher …   Wikipedia

  • Fire sprinkler system — A fire sprinkler system is an active fire protection measure, consisting of a water supply, providing adequate pressure and flowrate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers are connected. Although historically only used… …   Wikipedia

  • flash — Synonyms and related words: Teletype, advertise, air, antelope, arrow, automatic response, backfire, bang, be bright, beacon, beam, beat the drum, bedazzle, blare, blast, blaze, blaze of light, blazon forth, blind, blind impulse, blink, blowout,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • Fire breathing — is the act of creating a large flame by spraying, with one s breath, a flammable liquid upon an open flame. The flame is usually held an arm s length away and the spray should be both powerful and misty. This art is said to have originated in… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.