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Canadian fire loss statistics draw attention to the need for a more intensified research program in the field of farm fire prevention and control. Ex pressed as a percentage of the yearly construction budget, fire losses in rural areas are more than triple those in urban areas. The relatively high rural fire losses are due in part to the fact that in many cases fires in farm buildings burn unnoticed and that in most cases the fire brigade does not arrive until the fire is well advanced. Conflagrations that destroy the complete farmstead can occur if the buildings are closely spaced and the fire can spread from building to building unchecked. The usual mechanism of fire spread between two adjacent buildings consists of two distinct processes: (1) the heating of the exposed building by radiant and convective heat transfer from the flaming building, and (2) the ignition of the flammable volatiles given off by the heated building materials. The heat transfer from the burning building to the exposed building is mainly by radiation except when the buildings are very close together. The volatiles are ignited spontaneously, or more probably, by pilot ignition from flaming brands, sparks or flames.
ignition of some building materials by radiation
Muir, W. E., Moysey, E.B. and W. A. Scott 1967. IGNITION OF SOME BUILDING MATERIALS BY RADIATION. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 9(1):74-76.
74 - 76