Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An unintended electric arc, as between two pieces of apparatus.
  • n. The temperature point at which the heat in an area or region is high enough to ignite all flammable material simultaneously.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The near simultaneous ignition of all combustible material in an enclosed area.
  • n. An unintended electric discharge or arc over or around an insulator

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an unintended electric discharge (as over or around an insulator)

Etymologies

flash +‎ over (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • TODD: Federal officials tell us it only takes about a minute - and-a-half for what they call a flashover -- for the cabin to be engulfed in smoke, as shown in this simulation.

    CNN Transcript Mar 7, 2007

  • But Lentini says science proves these pour patterns were really caused by a recently accepted phenomenon called flashover, the point, when a fire in a room becomes a room on fire.

    CNN Transcript Apr 9, 2007

  • But tests conducted in the 1990s showed that fires can hit the point of "flashover" - when all combustible surfaces ignite at once - in under four minutes with no accelerants.

    The Seattle Times

  • She said he (Randhir) went to test the power at about 12. 45pm when the accident, which is referred to as a flashover - the near simultaneous ignition of all combustible material in an enclosed area - occurred.

    IOL: News

  • The fire in Graf's shed on Aug. 26, 1986, quickly mushroomed to intense burning known as flashover, or full involvement.

    AltWeeklies.com Site Feed

  • "flashover" -- meaning an unintended power surge that causes spontaneous combustion.

    LAist

  • The firefighters had managed to pull one victim from the home and were trying to find the other person when they were caught in a "flashover,..."

    Captain Matt Burton & Eng. Scott Desmond, Fallen Heroes

  • Once they start dying off, there's going to be a kind of flashover thing where video games are no longer the scary, difficult niche hobby, and are regarded more in the same way as we regard TV or the internet.

    The Death of the Board Game, Part 2

  • Once "flashover" occurs, where the fire has ignited the room, occupants have only three to seven minutes to evacuate, Deputy Chief Frank Lamie said in an interview.

    INSIDETORONTO - Home

  • As the article says, in under two minutes, your kitchen is at risk for "flashover," which is when the surrounding objects and surfaces get to their ignition temperature and burst into flames.

    NY Daily News

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