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A review was made of both full-scale and scale model experiments concerned with fire growth and spread in building compartments. It appears that “flashover,” that is, the rapid transition to a fully developed room fire, could be initiated by a fully involved chair fire alone or by a large waste container ignition source against a combustible lining material. Scale model results continue to provide valuable insight, but the validity of partial scaling results must be considered for each type of experiment. A quasi-steady idealized mathematical model was developed to analyze the various parameters of fire development in a room. These theoretical results show the significance of fuel properties, fire size and location, room and doorway dimensions, and wall thermal properties. The limitations of a mathematical approach are also discussed.
fires, flashover, literature reviews, scale models, mathematical models, fluid flow, heat transfer, theories
Mechanical engineer, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.