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This should be contrasted with spread over a horizontal surface when the flames from the burning area rise vertically, away from the surface. Indeed, it is common experience that vertical spread is the most hazardous e. The rate of spread is also affected by an imposed radiant heat flux. In the development of a fire in a room, the area of the fire will grow more rapidly under the increasing level of radiation that builds up as the fire progresses.

This will contribute to the acceleration of fire growth that is characteristic of flashover. Fire extinction and suppression can be examined in terms of the above outline of the theory of fire. The gas phase combustion processes i. However, if a flame-retarded material becomes involved in an existing fire, it will burn as the high heat fluxes overwhelm the effect of the retardant. The first method, stopping the supply of fuel vapours, is clearly applicable to a gas-jet fire in which the supply of the fuel can simply be turned off.

However, it is also the most common and safest method of extinguishing a fire involving condensed fuels. In the case of a fire involving a solid, this requires the fuel surface to be cooled below the firepoint, when the flow of vapours becomes too small to support a flame. This is achieved most effectively by the application of water, either manually or by means of an automatic system sprinklers, water spray, etc.

In general, liquid fires cannot be dealt with in this manner: liquid fuels with low firepoints simply cannot be cooled sufficiently, while in the case of a high-firepoint fuel, vigorous vaporization of water when it comes into contact with the hot liquid at the surface can lead to burning fuel being ejected from the container. This can have very serious consequences for those fighting the fire. There are some special cases in which an automatic high-pressure water-spray system may be designed to deal with the latter type of fire, but this is not common.

Liquid fires are commonly extinguished by the use of fire-fighting foams Cote This is produced by aspirating a foam concentrate into a stream of water which is then directed at the fire through a special nozzle which permits air to be entrained into the flow. This produces a foam which floats on top of the liquid, reducing the rate of supply of fuel vapours by a blockage effect and by shielding the surface from heat transfer from the flames.

The flames will decrease in size as the raft grows, and at the same time the foam will gradually break down, releasing water which will aid the cooling of the surface. The mechanism is in fact complex, although the net result is to control the flow of vapours.

There are a number of foam concentrates available, and it is important to choose one that is compatible with the liquids that are to be protected. One of these, aqueous film-forming foam AFFF , is an all-purpose foam which also produces a film of water on the surface of the liquid fuel, thus increasing its effectiveness. This method makes use of chemical suppressants to extinguish the flame. The reactions which occur in the flame involve free radicals, a highly reactive species which have only a fleeting existence but are continuously regenerated by a branched chain process that maintains high enough concentrations to allow the overall reaction e.

Chemical suppressants applied in sufficient quantity will cause a dramatic fall in the concentration of these radicals, effectively quenching the flame. The most common agents that operate in this way are the halons and dry powders. Halons react in the flame to generate other intermediate species with which the flame radicals react preferentially.

Dry powders act in a similar fashion, but under certain circumstances are much more effective. Fine particles are dispersed into the flame and cause termination of the radical chains. It is important that the particles are small and numerous. For a person whose clothing has caught fire, a dry powder extinguisher is recognized as the best method to control flames and to protect that individual. However, the flame must be completely extinguished because the particles quickly fall to the ground and any residual flaming will quickly regain hold.

Similarly, halons will only remain effective if the local concentrations are maintained. If it is applied out of doors, the halon vapour rapidly disperses, and once again the fire will rapidly re-establish itself if there is any residual flame. More significantly, the loss of the suppressant will be followed by re-ignition of the fuel if the surface temperatures are high enough. Neither halons nor dry powders have any significant cooling effect on the fuel surface. The following description is an oversimplification of the process. The critical concentration is temperature dependent, decreasing as the temperature is increased.

A fire in a room may be held in check and may even self-extinguish if the supply of oxygen is limited by keeping doors and windows closed. Flaming may cease, but smouldering will continue at very much lower oxygen concentrations. Admission of air by opening a door or breaking a window before the room has cooled sufficiently can lead to a vigorous eruption of the fire, known as backdraught, or backdraft.

The required minimum concentrations of the inert gases are shown in table These are based on the assumption that the fire is detected at an early stage and that the flooding is carried out before too much heat has accumulated in the space. Carbon dioxide is the only gas that is used in this way. However, as this gas quickly disperses, it is essential to extinguish all flaming during the attack on the fire; otherwise, flaming will re-establish itself.

Re-ignition is also possible because carbon dioxide has little if any cooling effect. It is worth noting that a fine water spray entrained into a flame can cause extinction as the combined result of evaporation of the droplets which cools the burning zone and reduction of the oxygen concentration by dilution by water vapour which acts in the same way as carbon dioxide. Fine water sprays and mists are being considered as possible replacements for halons. It is appropriate to mention here that it is inadvisable to extinguish a gas flame unless the gas flow can be stopped immediately thereafter.

Otherwise, a substantial volume of flammable gas may build up and subsequently ignite, with potentially serious consequences. This method is included here for completeness. A match flame can easily be blown out by increasing the air velocity above a critical value in the vicinity of the flame. The mechanism operates by destabilizing the flame in the vicinity of the fuel. In principle, larger fires can be controlled in the same way, but explosive charges are normally required to generate sufficient velocities.

Oil well fires can be extinguished in this manner. Finally, a common feature that needs to be emphasized is that the ease with which a fire can be extinguished decreases rapidly as the fire increases in size. Early detection permits extinction with minimal quantities of suppressant, with reduced losses.

In choosing a suppressant system, one should take into account the potential rate of fire development and what type of detection system is available. An explosion is characterized by the sudden release of energy, producing a shock wave, or blast wave, that may be capable of causing remote damage. There are two distinct types of sources, namely, the high explosive and the pressure burst. These compounds are highly exothermic species, decomposing to release substantial quantities of energy.

Although thermally stable although some are less so and require desensitization to make them safe to handle , they can be induced to detonate, with decomposition, propagating at the velocity of sound through the solid. If the amount of energy released is high enough, a blast wave will propagate from the source with the potential to do significant damage at a distance. This technique relies on the large amount of data that has been gathered on the damage potential of TNT much of it during wartime , and uses empirical scaling laws which have been developed from studies of the damage caused by known quantities of TNT.

In peacetime, high explosives are used in a variety of activities, including mining, quarrying and major civil engineering works. Their presence on a site represents a particular hazard that requires specific management. Overpressures leading to pressure bursts can be the result of chemical processes within plants or from purely physical effects, as will occur if a vessel is heated externally, leading to overpressurization. The term BLEVE boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion has its origins here, referring originally to the failure of steam boilers.

On the other hand, the overpressure may be caused internally by a chemical process. In the process industries, self-heating can lead to a runaway reaction, generating high temperatures and pressures capable of causing a pressure burst. The prerequisite is the formation of a flammable mixture, an occurrence which should be avoided by good design and management.

In the event of an accidental release, a flammable atmosphere will exist wherever the concentration of the gas or vapour lies between the lower and upper flammability limits table This can be as high as 2, K, indicating that in a completely closed system initially at K, an overpressure as high as 7 bars is possible. Only specially designed pressure vessels are capable of containing such overpressures. Ordinary buildings will fall unless protected by pressure relief panels or bursting discs or by an explosion suppression system. Explosions of this type are also associated with the ignition of dust suspensions in air Palmer The dust must obviously be combustible, but not all combustible dusts are explosible at ambient temperatures.

Standard tests have been designed to determine whether a dust is explosible. In general, a dust explosion has the potential to do a great deal of damage because the initial event may cause more dust to be dislodged, forming an even greater dust cloud which will inevitably ignite, to produce an even greater explosion.

Explosion venting, or explosion relief, will only operate successfully if the rate of development of the explosion is relatively slow, such as associated with the propagation of a premixed flame through a stationary flammable mixture or an explosible dust cloud. Explosion venting is of no use if detonation is involved.

The reason for this is that the pressure relief openings have to be created at an early stage of the event when the pressure is still relatively low. If a detonation occurs, the pressure rises too rapidly for relief to be effective, and the enclosing vessel or item of a plant experiences very high internal pressures which will lead to massive destruction. Detonation of a flammable gas mixture can occur if the mixture is contained within a long pipe or duct.

Under certain conditions, propagation of the premixed flame will push the unburnt gas ahead of the flame front at a rate that will increase turbulence, which in turn will increase the rate of propagation. This provides a feedback loop which will cause the flame to accelerate until a shock wave is formed. This is the rate at which a flame will propagate through a quiescent i. The importance of turbulence on the development of this type of explosion cannot be underestimated. The successful operation of an explosion protection system relies on early venting or early suppression.

If the rate of development of the explosion is too fast, then the protection system will not be effective, and unacceptable overpressures can be produced. An alternative to explosion relief is explosion suppression. This type of protection requires that the explosion is detected at a very early stage, as close to ignition as possible. The detector is used to initiate the rapid release of a suppressant into the path of the propagating flame, effectively arresting the explosion before the pressure has increased to an extent at which the integrity of the enclosing boundaries is threatened.

The halons have been commonly used for this purpose, but as these are being phased out, attention is now being paid to the use of high-pressure water-spray systems. This type of protection is very expensive and has limited application as it can only be used in relatively small volumes within which the suppressant can be distributed quickly and uniformly e. In general terms, fire science has only recently been developed to a stage at which it is capable of providing the knowledge base on which rational decisions regarding engineering design, including safety issues, can be based.

Traditionally, fire safety has developed on an ad hoc basis, effectively responding to incidents by imposing regulations or other restrictions to ensure that there will be no re-occurrence. Many examples could be quoted. For example, the Great Fire of London in led in due course to the establishment of the first building regulations or codes and the development of fire insurance.

Other problems have been addressed in a similar fashion. In California in the United States, the hazard associated with certain types of modern upholstered furniture particularly those containing standard polyurethane foam was recognized, and eventually strict regulations were introduced to control its availability. These are simple cases in which observations of the consequences of fire have led to the imposition of a set of rules intended to improve the safety of the individual and the community in the event of fire.

The decision for action on any issue has to be justified on the basis of an analysis of our knowledge of fire incidents. It is necessary to show that the problem is real. This requires a reliable database on fire incidents which over a number of years is capable of showing trends in the number of fires, the number of fatalities, the incidence of a particular type of ignition, etc. Statistical techniques can then be used to examine whether a trend, or a change, is significant, and appropriate measures taken.

In a number of countries, the fire brigade is required to submit a report on each fire attended. The data are then available for inspection by government bodies and other interested parties. These databases are invaluable in highlighting for example the principal sources of ignition and the items first ignited. An examination of the incidence of fatalities and their relationship to sources of ignition, etc. The reliability of these databases depends on the skill with which the fire officers carry out the fire investigation.

The Fire Service in the United Kingdom has a statutory duty to submit a fire report form for every fire attended, which places a considerable responsibility on the officer in charge. The construction of the form is crucial, as it must elicit the required information in sufficient detail. The data can be used in two ways, either to identify a fire problem or to provide the rational argument necessary to justify a particular course of action that may require public or private expenditure. A long-established database can be used to show the effects of actions taken.

The following ten points have been gleaned from NFPA statistics over the period to Cote :. Home smoke detectors are widely used and very effective but significant gaps in the detector strategy remain. Automatic sprinklers produce large reductions in loss of life and property. Increased use of portable and area heating equipment sharply increased home fires involving heating equipment. A large share of fire-fighter fatalities are attributed to heart attacks and activities away from the fireground. Smoking materials igniting upholstered furniture, mattresses or bedding produce the most deadly residential fire scenarios.

US and Canadian fire death rates are amongst the highest of all the developed countries. The states of the Old South in the United States have the highest fire death rates. Older adults are at particularly high risk of death in fire. Such conclusions are, of course, country-specific, although there are some common trends. Careful use of such data can provide the means of formulating sound policies regarding fire safety in the community.

Proactive measures can only be introduced following a detailed fire hazard assessment. Such a course of action has been introduced progressively, starting in the nuclear industry and moving into the chemical, petrochemical and offshore industries where the risks are much more easily defined than in other industries.

Their application to hotels and public buildings generally is much more difficult and requires the application of fire modelling techniques to predict the course of a fire and how the fire products will spread through the building to affect the occupants. Major advances have been made in this type of modelling, although it must be said that there is a long way to go before these techniques can be used with confidence. Fire safety engineering is still in need of much basic research in fire safety science before reliable fire hazard assessment tools can be made widely available.

Fire and combustion have been defined in various ways. For our purposes, the most important statements in connection with combustion, as a phenomenon, are as follows:. Ignition may be considered the first step of the self-sustaining process of combustion. It may occur as piloted ignition or forced ignition if the phenomenon is caused by any outer ignition source, or it may occur as auto ignition or self ignition if the phenomenon is the result of reactions taking place in the combustible material itself and coupled with heat release.

The inclination to ignition is characterized by an empirical parameter, the ignition temperature i. In the case of piloted ignition, the energy required for the activation of the materials involved in the burning reaction is supplied by ignition sources. However, there is no direct relationship between the heat quantity needed for ignition and the ignition temperature, because although the chemical composition of the components in the combustible system is an essential parameter of ignition temperature, it is considerably influenced by the sizes and shapes of materials, the pressure of the environment, conditions of air flow, parameters of ignition source, the geometrical features of the testing device, etc.

Reinvent Fire: Change Energy Use Forever

This is the reason for which the data published in literature for autoignition temperature and piloted ignition temperature can be significantly different. The ignition mechanism of materials in different states may be simply illustrated. This involves examining materials as either solids, liquids or gases. Most solid materials take up energy from any outer ignition source either by conduction, convection or radiation mostly by their combination , or are heated up as a result of the heat-producing processes taking place internally that start decomposition on their surfaces.

For ignition to occur with liquids, these must have the formation of a vapour space above their surface that is capable of burning. The vapours released and the gaseous decomposition products mix with the air above the surface of liquid or solid material. The particles induced enter into interaction, resulting in the release of heat. The process steadily accelerates, and as the chain reaction starts, the material comes to ignition and burns. The combustion in the layer under the surface of solid combustible materials is called smouldering, and the burning reaction taking place on the interface of solid materials and gas is called glowing.

Burning with flames or flaming is the process in the course of which the exothermic reaction of burning runs in the gas phase. This is typical for the combustion of both liquid and solid materials. Combustible gases burn naturally in the gas phase. It is an important empirical statement that the mixtures of gases and air are capable of ignition in a certain range of concentration only. This is valid also for the vapours of liquids. The lower and upper flammable limits of gases and vapours depend on the temperature and pressure of the mixture, the ignition source and the concentration of the inert gases in the mixture.

The phenomena supplying heat energy may be grouped into four fundamental categories as to their origin Sax :. The following discussion addresses the most frequently encountered sources of ignition. Open flames may be the simplest and most frequently used ignition source. A large number of tools in general use and various types of technological equipment operate with open flames, or enable the formation of open flames. Burners, matches, furnaces, heating equipment, flames of welding torches, broken gas and oil pipes, etc.

Because with an open flame the primary ignition source itself represents an existing self-sustaining combustion, the ignition mechanism means in essence the spreading of burning to another system. Provided that the ignition source with open flame possesses sufficient energy for initiating ignition, burning will start. The materials inclined to spontaneous heating and spontaneous ignition may, however, become secondary ignition sources and give rise to ignition of the combustible materials in the surroundings.

Although some gases e. Spontaneous ignition, like all ignitions, depends on the chemical structure of the material, but its occurrence is determined by the grade of dispersity. The large specific surface enables the local accumulation of reaction heat and contributes to the increase of temperature of material above spontaneous ignition temperature. Spontaneous ignition of liquids is also promoted if they come into contact with air on solid materials of large specific surface area. Fats and especially unsaturated oils containing double bonds, when absorbed by fibrous materials and their products, and when impregnated into textiles of plant or animal origin, are inclined to spontaneous ignition under normal atmospheric conditions.

Spontaneous ignition of glass-wool and mineral-wool products produced from non-combustible fibres or inorganic materials covering large specific surfaces and contaminated by oil have caused very severe fire accidents. Spontaneous ignition has been observed mainly with dusts of solid materials. For metals with good heat conductivity, local heat accumulation needed for ignition necessitates very fine crushing of metal.

As the particle size decreases, the likelihood of spontaneous ignition increases, and with some metal dusts for example, iron pyrophorosity ensues. When storing and handling coal dust, soot of fine distribution, dusts of lacquers and synthetic resins, as well as during the technological operations carried out with them, special attention should be given to the preventive measures against fire to reduce the hazard of spontaneous ignition. Materials inclined to spontaneous decomposition show special ability to ignite spontaneously. Hydrazine, when set on any material with a large surface area, bursts into flames immediately.

The peroxides, which are widely used by the plastics industry, easily decompose spontaneously, and as a consequence of decomposition, they become dangerous ignition sources, occasionally initiating explosive burning. The violent exothermic reaction that occurs when certain chemicals come into contact with each other may be considered a special case of spontaneous ignition. Examples of such cases are contact of concentrated sulphuric acid with all the organic combustible materials, chlorates with sulphur or ammonium salts or acids, the organic halogen compounds with alkali metals, etc.

It is worth mentioning that such hazardously high spontaneous heating may, in some cases, be due to the wrong technological conditions insufficient ventilation, low cooling capacity, discrepancies of maintenance and cleaning, overheating of reaction, etc. Certain agricultural products, such as fibrous feedstuffs, oily seeds, germinating cereals, final products of the processing industry dried beetroot slices, fertilizers, etc. The spontaneous heating of these materials has a special feature: the dangerous temperature conditions of the systems are exacerbated by some exothermic biological processes that cannot be controlled easily.

Power machines, instruments and heating devices operated by electric energy, as well as the equipment for power transformation and lighting, typically do not present any fire hazard to their surroundings, provided that they have been installed in compliance with the relevant regulations of safety and requirements of standards and that the associated technological instructions have been observed during their operation. Regular maintenance and periodic supervision considerably diminish the probability of fires and explosions.

The most frequent causes of fires in electric devices and wiring are overloading, short circuits, electric sparks and high contact resistances. Overloading exists when the wiring and electrical appliances are exposed to higher current than that for which they are designed. The overcurrent passing through the wiring, devices and equipment might lead to such an overheating that the overheated components of the electrical system become damaged or broken, grow old or carbonize, resulting in cord and cable coatings melting down, metal parts glowing and the combustible structural units coming to ignition and, depending on the conditions, also spreading fire to the environment.

The most frequent cause of overloading is that the number of consumers connected is higher than permitted or their capacity exceeds the value stipulated. The working safety of electrical systems is most frequently endangered by short circuits. They are always the consequences of any damage and occur when the parts of the electrical wiring or the equipment at the same potential level or various potential levels, insulated from each other and the earth, come into contact with each other or with the earth. This contact may arise directly as metal-metal contact or indirectly, through electric arc.

In cases of short circuits, when some units of the electric system come in contact with each other, the resistance will be considerably lower, and as a consequence, the intensity of current will be extremely high, perhaps by several orders of magnitude higher. The heat energy released during overcurrents with large short circuits might result in a fire in the device affected by the short circuit, with the materials and equipment in the surrounding area coming to ignition and with the fire spreading to the building. Electric sparks are heat energy sources of a small nature, but as shown by experience, act frequently as ignition sources.

Under normal working conditions, most electrical appliances do not release sparks, but the operation of certain devices is normally accompanied by sparks. Sparking introduces a hazard foremost at places where, in the zone of their generation, explosive concentrations of gas, vapour or dust might arise. Consequently, equipment normally releasing sparks during operation is permitted to be set up only at places where the sparks cannot give rise to fire. On its own, the energy content of sparks is insufficient for the ignition of the materials in the environment or to initiate an explosion.

If an electrical system has no perfect metallic contact between the structural units through which the current flows, high contact resistance will occur at this spot. This phenomenon is in most cases due to the faulty construction of joints or to unworkmanlike installations. The disengagement of joints during operation and natural wear may also be cause for high contact resistance. A large portion of the current flowing through places with increased resistance will transform to heat energy.

If this energy cannot be dissipated sufficiently and the reason cannot be eliminated , the extremely large increase of temperature might lead to a fire condition that endangers the surrounding. If the devices work on the basis of the induction concept engines, dynamos, transformers, relays, etc. Due to the eddy currents, the structural units coils and their iron cores might warm up, which might lead to the ignition of insulating materials and the burning of the equipment. Electrostatic charging is a process in the course of which any material, originally with electric neutrality and independent of any electric circuit becomes charged positively or negatively.

This may occur in one of three ways:. These three ways of charging may arise from various physical processes, including separation after contact, splitting, cutting, pulverizing, moving, rubbing, flowing of powders and fluids in pipe, hitting, change of pressure, change of state, photoionization, heat ionization, electrostatical distribution or high-voltage discharge.

Electrostatic charging may occur both on conducting bodies and insulating bodies as a result of any of the processes mentioned above, but in most cases the mechanical processes are responsible for the accumulation of the unwanted charges. From the large number of the harmful effects and risks due to electrostatic charging and the spark discharge resulting from it, two risks can be mentioned in particular: endangering of electronic equipment for example, computer for process control and the hazard of fire and explosion. Electronic equipment is endangered first of all if the discharge energy from the charging is sufficiently high to cause destruction of the input of any semi-conductive part.

The development of electronic units in the last decade has been followed by the rapid increase of this risk. The development of fire or explosion risk necessitates the coincidence in space and time of two conditions: the presence of any combustible medium and the discharge with ability for ignition. This hazard occurs mainly in the chemical industry. It may be estimated on the basis of the so-called spark sensitivity of hazardous materials minimum ignition energy and depends on the extent of charging.

It is an essential task to reduce these risks, namely, the large variety of consequences that extend from technological troubles to catastrophes with fatal accidents. There are two means of protecting against the consequences of electrostatic charging:. Lightning is an atmospherical electric phenomenon in nature and may be considered an ignition source. The static charging produced in the clouds is equalized towards the earth lightning stroke and is accompanied by a high-energy discharge.

The combustible materials at the place of lightning stroke and its surroundings might ignite and burn off. At some strokes of lightning, very strong impulses are generated, and the energy is equalized in several steps. In other cases, long-lasting currents start to flow, sometimes reaching the order of magnitude of 10 A.

Technical practice is steadily coupled with friction. During mechanical operation, frictional heat is developed, and if heat loss is restricted to such an extent that heat accumulates in the system, its temperature may increase to a value that is dangerous for the environment, and fire may occur. Friction sparks normally occur at metal technological operations because of heavy friction grinding, chipping, cutting, hitting or because of metal objects or tools dropping or falling on to a hard floor or during grinding operations because of metal contaminations within the material under grinding impact.


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It has been proven in practice that friction sparks mean real fire risk in air spaces where combustible gases, vapours and dusts are present in dangerous concentrations. Thus, under these circumstances the use of materials that easily produce sparks, as well as processes with mechanical sparking, should be avoided. In these cases, safety is provided by tools that do not spark, i. In practice, the surfaces of equipment and devices may warm up to a dangerous extent either normally or due to malfunction.

Ovens, furnaces, drying devices, waste-gas outlets, vapour pipes, etc. Furthermore, their hot surfaces may ignite combustible materials coming close to them or by coming in contact. For prevention, safe distances should be observed, and regular supervision and maintenance will reduce the probability of the occurrence of dangerous overheating.

The presence of combustible material in combustible systems represents an obvious condition of burning. Burning phenomena and the phases of the burning process fundamentally depend on the physical and chemical properties of the material involved. Therefore, it seems reasonable to make a survey of the flammability of the various materials and products with respect to their character and properties. For this section, the ordering principle for the grouping of materials is governed by technical aspects rather than by theoretical conceptions NFPA Wood is one of the most common materials in the human milieu.

Houses, building structures, furniture and consumer goods are made of wood, and it is also widely used for products such as paper as well as in the chemical industry. Wood and wood products are combustible, and when in contact with high-temperature surfaces and exposed to heat radiation, open flames or any other ignition source, will carbonize, glow, ignite or burn, depending upon the condition of combustion.

To widen the field of their application, the improvement of their combustion properties is required. In order to make structural units produced from wood less combustible, they are typically treated with fire-retardant agents e. The most essential characteristic of combustibility of the various kinds of wood is the ignition temperature.

It is interesting to note that the ignition temperature as determined by various test methods differs. Experience has shown that the inclination of clean and dry wood products to ignition is extremely low, but several fire cases caused by spontaneous ignition have been known to occur from storing dusty and oily waste wood in rooms with imperfect ventilation. It has been proven empirically that higher moisture content increases the ignition temperature and reduces the burning speed of wood.

The thermal decomposition of wood is a complicated process, but its phases may clearly be observed as follows:. In this temperature range, sustaining combustion has already developed. After ignition, burning is not steady in time because of the good heat-insulating ability of its carbonized layers. Consequently, the warming up of the deeper layers is limited and time consuming.

When the surfacing of the combustible decomposition products is accelerated, burning will be complete. During its additional glowing, ash containing solid, inorganic materials is produced, and the process has come to an end.

The majority of the textiles produced from fibrous materials that are found in the close surrounding of people is combustible. Clothing, furniture and the built environment partly or totally consists of textiles.

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Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II - Wikipedia

The hazard which they present exists during their production, processing and storing as well as during their wearing. Failure to shift to efficiency and renewables also gravely harms national security—by spreading rather than limiting nuclear weapons, creating rather than removing attractive terrorist targets, exacerbating rather than relieving global poverty and inequity, fueling rather than soothing global tensions and instabilities, and sending military forces on more and riskier missions rather than fewer and safer.

Incumbent industries that extract, supply, and use fossil fuels are a major force. They must adapt to these new conditions and requirements just as they always have to many kinds of change. But change need not harm their strategic prospects. Hydrocarbons are generally worth more as a source of hydrogen and organic molecules than as a fuel. Hydrocarbon and electricity companies have important assets, capabilities, and skills whose judicious deployment will be vital to a successful energy transition. Moving beyond oil and coal can harness those advan tages in ways that sustain profits, diversify options, and manage risks.

The firms that do this first should beat the laggards. This is not merely a matter of normal domestic industrial evolution but of global revolution, because extraordinary competition from abroad—most of all from China and Europe, but rapidly spreading around the globe—leaves American industries little choice. But encouragingly, much of the innovation and rapid scale-up now occurring worldwide is coming from the global South, driving economic development that can help make people everywhere healthier, happier, richer, and more peaceful.

The key barrier to success is not inadequate technologies but tardy adoption. Our analysis assumes that on average, the entire United States will ramp up over decades to the rates of efficiency and renew ables adoption that the most attentive states have already achieved.

Whatever exists is possible. In a nation tired of gridlock, this transideological attractiveness and practicality is good news. Whether we most care about economy, security, or health and environment, Reinventing Fire is spherically sensible—it makes sense no matter which way around you view it. Analytic methodologies used in Reinventing Fire, as well as the scope, limitations, and intended audience of the book.

Reinventing Fire is available in four languages and in paperback and digital versions. Not You? Executive Summaries. Japanese forces quickly isolated, surrounded, and forced the surrender of Indian units defending the coast. Despite their numerical inferiority, they advanced down the Malayan Peninsula, overwhelming the defences. The Japanese forces also used bicycle infantry and light tanks , allowing swift movement through the jungle.

The Allies, however, having thought the terrain made them impractical, had no tanks and only a few armoured vehicles, which put them at a severe disadvantage. Although more Allied units—including some from the Australian 8th Division [Note 3] —joined the campaign, the Japanese prevented the Allied forces from regrouping. They also overran cities and advanced toward Singapore.

Singapore controlled the main shipping channel between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. Anderson's battalion was forced to leave behind about Australian and 40 Indian wounded, who were later massacred by the Japanese. For his leadership in the fighting withdrawal, Anderson was awarded the Victoria Cross.

On 31 January, the last Allied forces left Malaya and Allied engineers blew a hole in the causeway linking Johor and Singapore. During the weeks preceding the invasion, the Allied force suffered a number of both subdued and openly disruptive disagreements amongst its senior commanders, [38] as well as pressure from Australian Prime Minister John Curtin.

The remaining force was a mix of front-line and second-line troops. In addition, there were two British machine-gun battalions, one Australian, and a British reconnaissance battalion. Lionel Wigmore, the Australian official historian of the Malayan Campaign, wrote. Only one of the Indian battalions was up to numerical strength, three in the 44th Brigade had recently arrived in a semi-trained condition, nine had been hastily reorganised with a large intake of raw recruits, and four were being re-formed but were far from being fit for action.

Six of the United Kingdom battalions in the 54th and 55th Brigades of the 18th Division had only just landed in Malaya, and the other seven battalions were under-manned. Of the Australian battalions, three had drawn heavily upon recently-arrived, practically-untrained recruits. The Malay battalions had not been in action, and the Straits Settlements Volunteers were only sketchily trained.

Further, losses on the mainland had resulted in a general shortage of equipment. Percival gave Major-General Gordon Bennett 's two brigades from the Australian 8th Division responsibility for the western side of Singapore, including the prime invasion points in the northwest of the island. This was mostly mangrove swamp and jungle, broken by rivers and creeks. Key with reinforcements from the 8th Indian Brigade, [48] and the British 18th Division—was assigned the north-eastern sector, known as the "Northern Area".

O. Reg. 213/07: FIRE CODE

From 3 February, the Allies were shelled by Japanese artillery, and air attacks on Singapore intensified over the next five days. The artillery and air bombardment strengthened, severely disrupting communications between Allied units and their commanders and affecting preparations for the defence of the island. Yamashita and his officers stationed themselves at Istana Bukit Serene and the Johor state secretariat building—the Sultan Ibrahim Building —to plan for the invasion of Singapore.

Yamashita's prediction was correct; despite being observed by Australian artillery, permission to engage the palace was denied by their commanding general, Bennett. It is a commonly repeated misconception that Singapore's famous large-calibre coastal guns were ineffective against the Japanese because they were designed to face south to defend the harbour against naval attack and could not be turned round to face north.

In fact, most of the guns could be turned, and were indeed fired at the invaders. AP shells were designed to penetrate the hulls of heavily armoured warships and were mostly ineffective against infantry targets. Percival incorrectly guessed that the Japanese would land forces on the north-east side of Singapore, ignoring advice that the north-west was a more likely direction of attack where the Straits of Johor were the narrowest and a series of river mouths provided cover for the launching of water craft. To compound matters, Percival had ordered the Australians to defend forward so as to cover the waterway, yet this meant they were immediately fully committed to any fighting, limiting their flexibility, whilst also reducing their defensive depth.

Meanwhile, of those forces that had seen action during the previous fighting, the majority were under-strength and under-equipped. In the days leading up to the Japanese attack, patrols from the Australian 22nd Brigade were sent across the strait to Johor at night to gather intelligence. Three small patrols were sent on the evening of 6 February; one was spotted and withdrew after its leader was killed and their boat sunk, while two others managed to get ashore.

Over the course of a day, they found large concentrations of troops, although they were unable to locate any landing craft. Blowing up the causeway had delayed the Japanese attack for over a week.

A History of the Army Air Corps

Prior to the main assault, the Australians were subjected to an intense artillery bombardment. Over a period of 15 hours, [59] starting at on 8 February , Yamashita's heavy guns laid down a barrage of 88, shells rounds per tube [4] along the entire length of the straits, cutting telephone lines and effectively isolating forward units from rear areas.

Shortly before on 8 February, the first wave of Japanese troops from the 5th and 18th Divisions began crossing the Johor Strait. The main weight of the Japanese force, representing a total of about 13, men across 16 assault battalions, with five in reserve, was focused on assaulting Taylor's Australian 22nd Brigade, which totalled just three battalions. In total, 13, Japanese troops landed throughout the first night; they were followed by another 10, after first light.

Spotlights had been sited by a British unit on the beaches to enable the Australians to clearly see any attacking forces on the water in front of them, but many had been damaged by the earlier bombardment and no order was made to turn the others on. Fierce fighting raged throughout the evening, but due to the terrain and the darkness, the Japanese were able to disperse into the undergrowth; in many situations, they were able to either surround and destroy pockets of Australian resistance, or bypass them entirely, exploiting gaps in the thinly spread Allied lines due to the many rivers and creeks in the area.

Over the course of two hours, the three Australian battalions that had been engaged sought to regroup, moving back east from the coast towards the centre of the island. Despite being in contact with the enemy, this was completed mainly in good order. Meanwhile, bypassed elements attempted to break out and fall back to the Tengah airfield to rejoin their units and in doing so received heavy casualties. The aerial campaign for Singapore began at the outset of the invasion of Malaya.

The bombers struck the city centre as well as the Sembawang Naval Base and the island's northern airfields. After this first raid, throughout the rest of December, there were a number of false alerts and several infrequent and sporadic hit-and-run attacks on outlying military installations such as the Naval Base, but no actual raids on Singapore City.

The situation had become so desperate that one British soldier took to the middle of a road to fire his Vickers machine gun at any aircraft that passed. He could only say: "The bloody bastards will never think of looking for me in the open, and I want to see a bloody plane brought down. The next recorded raid on the city occurred on the night of 29 December, and nightly raids ensued for over a week, only to be accompanied by daylight raids from 12 January onward. During the month of December, a total of 51 Hawker Hurricane Mk II fighters were sent to Singapore, with 24 pilots, the nuclei of five squadrons.

They arrived on 3 January , by which stage the Brewster Buffalo squadrons had been overwhelmed. However, like the Buffalos before them, the Hurricanes began to suffer severe losses in intense dogfights. However, many of the Hurricanes were subsequently destroyed on the ground by air raids. By the time of the invasion, only ten Hawker Hurricane fighters of No. RAF Kallang was the only operational airstrip left; [84] the surviving squadrons and aircraft had withdrawn by January to reinforce the Dutch East Indies.

On the morning of 9 February, a series of aerial dogfights took place over Sarimbun Beach and other western areas. In the first encounter, the last ten Hurricanes were scrambled from Kallang Airfield to intercept a Japanese formation of about 84 planes, flying from Johor to provide air cover for their invasion force. Air battles went on for the rest of the day, and by nightfall it was clear that with the few aircraft Percival had left, Kallang could no longer be used as a base. With his assent, the remaining flyable Hurricanes were withdrawn to Sumatra. By this time, Kallang Airfield was so pitted with bomb craters that it was no longer usable.

Believing that further landings would occur in the northeast, Percival did not reinforce the 22nd Brigade until the morning of 9 February; when he did, the forces dispatched consisted of two half-strength battalions from the 12th Indian Infantry Brigade. Bennett decided to form a secondary defensive line, known as the "Kranji-Jurong Switch Line", oriented to the west, and positioned between the two rivers, with its centre around Bulim, east of Tengah Airfield—which subsequently came under Japanese control—and just north of Jurong. To the north, Maxwell's Australian 27th Brigade had not been engaged during the initial Japanese assaults on the first day.

During the initial assault, the Japanese suffered severe casualties from Australian mortars and machine guns, and from burning oil which had been sluiced into the water following the demolition of several oil tanks by the defending Australians. This request was denied by the Japanese commander, Yamashita, who ordered them to press on. Command and control problems caused further cracks in the Allied defence.

Maxwell was aware that the 22nd Brigade was under increasing pressure, but was unable to contact Taylor and was wary of encirclement. In doing so, the high ground overlooking the causeway was given up, and the left flank of the 11th Indian Division exposed. The opening at Kranji made it possible for Imperial Guards armoured units to land there unopposed, [99] after which they were able to begin ferrying across their artillery and armour.

The Jurong Line eventually collapsed, though, after the 12th Indian Brigade was withdrawn by its commander, Brigadier Archie Paris, to the road junction near Bukit Panjang, after he lost contact with the 27th Brigade on his right; the commander of the 44th Indian Brigade, Ballantine, commanding the extreme left of the line, also misinterpreted the orders in the same manner that Taylor had and withdrew. I think you ought to realise the way we view the situation in Singapore. It is doubtful whether the Japanese have as many in the whole Malay Peninsula In these circumstances the defenders must greatly outnumber Japanese forces who have crossed the straits, and in a well-contested battle they should destroy them.

There must at this stage be no thought of saving the troops or sparing the population. The battle must be fought to the bitter end at all costs. The 18th Division has a chance to make its name in history. Commanders and senior officers should die with their troops. The honour of the British Empire and of the British Army is at stake.

I rely on you to show no mercy to weakness in any form. With the Russians fighting as they are and the Americans so stubborn at Luzon , the whole reputation of our country and our race is involved. It is expected that every unit will be brought into close contact with the enemy and fight it out.. Upon learning of the Jurong Line's collapse, Wavell, in the early afternoon of 10 February, ordered Percival to launch a counterattack to retake it. Percival made plans of his own for the counterattack, detailing a three-phased operation that involved the majority of the 22nd Brigade, and he subsequently passed this on to Bennett, who began implementing the plan, but forgot to call 'X' Battalion back.

There, they fell upon 'X' Battalion, which had camped in its assembly area while waiting to launch its own attack, and in the ensuing fight two thirds of the battalion was killed or wounded. Later on 11 February, with Japanese supplies running low, Yamashita attempted to bluff Percival, calling on him to "give up this meaningless and desperate resistance". This was achieved by moving the defending forces from the beaches along the northern shore and from around Changi, with the British 18th Division being tasked to maintain control of the vital reservoirs and effecting a link up with Simmons' Southern Area forces.

On 13 February, Japanese engineers re-established the road over the causeway, and more tanks were pushed across. Percival refused, but unsuccessfully sought authority from Wavell for greater discretion as to when resistance might cease. He had been arrested on 10 December and court-martialled in January. Heenan was shot at Keppel Harbour , on the southern side of Singapore, and his body was thrown into the sea. The Australians occupied a perimeter of their own to the north-west around Tanglin Barracks, in which they maintained an all round defensive posture as a precaution to Japanese penetration of the larger perimeter elsewhere.

They dug in and throughout the night fierce fighting raged on the northern front. The following day, the remaining Allied units fought on. Civilian casualties mounted as one million people [] crowded into the 3-mile 4. Civilian authorities began to fear that the water supply would give out. At this time, Percival was advised that large amounts of water were being lost due to damaged pipes and that the water supply was on the verge of collapse. On 14 February , the Japanese renewed their assault on the western part of the Southern Area's defences, around the same area that the 1st Malayan Brigade had fought desperately to hold the previous day.

A British lieutenant—acting as an envoy with a white flag—approached the Japanese forces but was killed with a bayonet. Doctors and nurses were also killed. Those who fell on the way were bayoneted. The men were forced into a series of small, badly ventilated rooms where they were held overnight without water.

Some died during the night as a result of their treatment. One survivor, Private Arthur Haines from the Wiltshire Regiment , wrote a four-page account of the massacre that was sold by his daughter by private auction in Nevertheless, the military supply situation was rapidly deteriorating. The water system was badly damaged and continued supply was uncertain, rations were running low, petrol for military vehicles was all but exhausted, and there were few rounds left for the field artillery. The anti-aircraft guns were almost out of ammunition, [] and were unable to disrupt Japanese air attacks, which were causing heavy casualties in the city centre.

Little work had been done to build air raid shelters, and looting and desertion by Allied troops further added to the chaos in this area. He proposed two options: either launch an immediate counter-attack to regain the reservoirs and the military food depots in the Bukit Timah region, or surrender. After heated argument and recrimination, all present agreed that no counterattack was possible. Percival opted for surrender. The Japanese were at the limit of their supply line, and their artillery had just a few hours of ammunition left.

A deputation was selected to go to the Japanese headquarters. It consisted of a senior staff officer, the colonial secretary and an interpreter. They set off in a motor car bearing a Union Jack and a white flag of truce toward the enemy lines to discuss a cessation of hostilities. Under the terms of the surrender, hostilities were to cease at that evening, all military forces in Singapore were to surrender unconditionally, all Allied forces would remain in position and disarm themselves within an hour, and the British were allowed to maintain a force of 1, armed men to prevent looting until relieved by the Japanese.

In addition, Yamashita also accepted full responsibility for the lives of the civilians in the city. In the days following the surrender, Bennett caused controversy when he decided to escape. After receiving news of the surrender, Bennett handed command of the 8th Division to the divisional artillery commander, Brigadier Cecil Callaghan , and—along with some of his staff officers—commandeered a small boat.

Thyer and C. Kappe, concedes that at most only two-thirds of the available Australian troops manned the final perimeter. In analysing the campaign, Clifford Kinvig, a senior lecturer at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, points the finger of blame at the commander of the 27th Brigade, Brigadier Duncan Maxwell, for his defeatist attitude [] and not properly defending the sector between the Causeway and the Kranji River. A classified wartime report by Wavell released in blamed the Australians for the loss of Singapore.

British losses during the fighting for Singapore were heavy, with a total of nearly 85, personnel captured, in addition to losses during the earlier fighting in Malaya. Throughout the entire day campaign in Malaya and Singapore, total British casualties amounted to 8, killed or wounded and , captured, while Japanese losses during this period amounted to 9, battle casualties. While impressed with Japan's quick succession of victories, Adolf Hitler reportedly had mixed views regarding Singapore's fall, seeing it as a setback for the "white race", but ultimately something that currently was in Germany's military interests.

Hitler reportedly forbade Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop from issuing a congratulatory communique. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the fall of Singapore to the Japanese "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history". The fall of Singapore on February 15 stupefied the Prime Minister. How came , men half of them of our own race to hold up their hands to inferior numbers of Japanese? Though his mind had been gradually prepared for its fall, the surrender of the fortress stunned him. He felt it was a disgrace.

It left a scar on his mind. One evening, months later, when he was sitting in his bathroom enveloped in a towel, he stopped drying himself and gloomily surveyed the floor: 'I cannot get over Singapore', he said sadly.