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Fire Research Notes


Chandler, S.E., 1971. THE IGNITION OF PLASTIC MATERIALS IN DWELLINGS. Fire Research Notes 883


An analysis has been made of the statistics of incidents involving the ignition of plastics in dwellings. The estimated number of incidents in 1969 (based on a 1 in 2 sample of reports) was 396. This total does not include fires in which plastics were not the materials ignited first or fires involving woven fabrics. One hundred and sixty eight incidents occurred in kitchens; 54 in living rooms and 52 in bedrooms. The items most frequently ignited were bowls, buckets, containers, furniture, toys and games. In only 12 incidents were structural materials (e.g. walls and ceilings) ignited. Cooking appliances provided the source of ignition in 100 incidents, and space heaters in 80. In the 1-in-2 sample of reports seven incidents involved rescues and casualties (7 non-fatal, 5 fatal). All but one of these occurred in bedrooms.

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