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Control measure

Identify heat reactions within oxidising materials

Control measure knowledge

An increase in the temperature of an oxidising material provides a strong indication that a reaction is occurring. This reaction has the potential to increase until the ignition temperature of the fuel is reached.  The use of a thermal imaging camera will assist in the identification of such a reaction.

Mixtures of an oxidising substance and a fuel may react slowly at first, but the heat from the reaction will increase the rate at which the ongoing reactions occur. Therefore, even where an oxidiser and fuel mixture does not appear unstable, ongoing reactions may still lead to a fire.

The oxidising material may also intensify fire, including the potential for explosion, particularly if the fuel is stored under confinement. Therefore, at the initial stages of an incident an assessment must be made from a safe location.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Develop tactical guidance and support arrangements regarding the hazards that may be encountered and actions to take to identify heat reactions within oxidising materials

  • Ensure that personnel have access to equipment/techniques that can be used to identify chemical containers with elevated temperatures

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Assess the potential for heat reactions within oxidising materials, from a safe location

  • Where oxidising materials are involved in fire, assess the potential for intensification of fire or explosion

  • Monitor for signs of decomposition and heat where oxidising materials are contaminated with combustibles