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Since 1980, it has been possible to estimate the size of the fire problem associated with many types of burnable products when those products are the first items ignited. However, many burnable products also have a major role as the largest fuel package in the room and may be the most important fuel package even if not the first item ignited. Only in the last few years have we had enough years of fire data with coding sufficient to support sound estimates of fires where a defined product is the primary fuel but not the first fuel. This article describes a proposed methodology for making those estimates and describes the results of application of the new methodology to upholstered furniture. The application to upholstered furniture demonstrated that one-quarter of upholstered furniture fires, civilian injuries, and direct damages, and one-fifth (21 %) of associated civilian deaths are associated with fires in which upholstered furniture is the primary item contributing to fire or flame spread but not the item first ignited. The traditional focus on cigarette resistance leaves roughly half of the fire deaths from upholstered furniture fires untouched.
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- Estimating Fires When a Product is the Primary Fuel But Not the First Fuel, With an Application to Upholstered Furniture
John R. Hall Jr.
- Springer US