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FLASHOVER AND FIRE ANALYSIS - A Discussion of The Practical Use of Flashover Analysis In Fire Investigations

FLASHOVER AND FIRE ANALYSIS - A Discussion of The Practical Use of Flashover Analysis In Fire Investigations,PATRICK M. KENNEDY,CFPS KATHRYN C. KENNED

FLASHOVER AND FIRE ANALYSIS - A Discussion of The Practical Use of Flashover Analysis In Fire Investigations  
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Properly understanding the phenomenon of flashover and applying that understanding to fire investigation and analysis can be very valuable tools in unraveling the mysteries of a fire's origin, cause, and development. Nevertheless, many current practitioners in the fire investigation and analysis community misunderstand, or fail to fully understand, flashover. This lack of understanding being the case, the effective use of the analysis of a flashover event in a fire investigation is seldom done, or not done properly. Thereby the potential value of flashover analysis to an effective fire investigation is frequently lost. There are several considerations associated with flashover and fire analysis for the modern fire investigator or fire analyst to understand in order to use the science effectively. These elements include proper working definitions of flashover and "full room involvement;" understanding the nature of the flashover phenomenon itself; methods for using flashover in investigations; and debunking commonly held misconceptions about flashover. The "problem" to be solved before a fire investigator or analyst can effectively use flashover in investigations is to reach a true understanding of each of these elements. This paper endeavors to present historical research on the definitions and understanding of flashover; report current, peer-reviewed, practical definitions of flashover and "full room involvement;" give a basic applied-science understanding of the nature of flashover; discuss and debunk a number of commonly held misconceptions about flashover; provide some guidance in using flashover in fire investigations; list some areas of valuable information which can be gleaned from flashover analysis; and provide a basic scientific bibliography of published flashover research. It is also the intent of this discussion to present the topic in a format that reaches all the wide range of levels of education and experience in the fire investigation and analysis community. ***
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