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Rasbash, D.J. and Stark, G.W., 1966. THE GENERATION OF CARBON MONOXIDE BY FIRES IN COMPARTMENTS. Fire Research Notes 614


The composition of combustion gases, produced by burning cellulosic fuels in chambers with different degrees of ventilation, was measured. The results indicated that the maximum concentration of the toxic gas, carbon monoxide, was produced at the highest fire load when the amount of ventilation was small, but not the minimum possible. The time at which the maximum concentration of carbon monoxide was attained decreased as the mean density of the fuel load decreased. The amount of air that could be contaminated to a dangerous level with carbon monoxide, in periods of time up to one hour after ignition, was a maximum when the amount of ventilation was between 6 and 18 per cent of the area of one wall of a cubical chamber. There was some evidence that the size of chamber, or of the fuel elements, or the degree of insulation could influence the production of carbon monoxide. The design of ventilation systems for buildings to minimise the contamination of the atmosphere within them is discussed.

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