Misunderstandings about the nature and content of National Fire Code© NFPA 921 - Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations abound in the fire investigation industry. These “Myths and Mysteries” tend to depreciate the value of the document, especially among those who need its guidance the most. This is caused by failures to understand and appreciate the nature of the NFPA consensus code promulgation system, the history of the fire investigation profession, the nature and history of NFPA 921 itself; and even semantics. This presentation is designed to expose and explain what the ill-informed see as the “myths and mysteries” and perceived shortcomings of this seminal document. One of the three, still serving, original Technical Committee on Fire Investigations members discusses the most common and controversial misunderstandings and misconceptions about NFPA 921.
Information On Spontaneous Combustion of Hay
Fire Risk of Wet Hay
The recent flooding requires close monitoring of stored hay for signs of spontaneous combustion. Dry hay (stored at 15 percent moisture or less) is safe for long-term storage. However, if the hay has become wet the quality has been permanently changed and the potential fire hazard from spontaneous combustion increased.
Checking for Spontaneous Combustion
Chemical reactions and microbial growth in hay occur because of the change in availability of moisture, oxygen, and pressure to create heat to the point of ignition and fire.
There will be early warning signs. Watch for steam rising from bale surfaces and condensing on the roof and eves of the barn. Often molds will start to grow on all these surfaces, too. There will be an acrid, hot, tobacco smell rising from the bales. Even before these visual signs appear, it is wise to take the temperature of the bales in the stack.