Dr Rory Hadden, Rushbrook Lecturer in Fire Investigation at the School of Engineering, was invited to speak on the Jeremy Vine Show on Wednesday 24 April.
Jeremy Vine was discussing the case of Fred Saunders, a former racing driver who was killed in a fire accident while working on his camper van. The incident occurred as Mr Saunders was wearing a fleece jacket and trousers which got covered in fuel as he was working and it is believed that a spark was caused when Mr Saunders rubbed his hands on his clothes , causing the petrol to ignite.
Jeremy Vine asked Dr Hadden about how this could happen. Dr Hadden explained:
“These instances have happened before where the static builds up from synthetic fibres on clothes, and this is enough to then ignite with the vapours from the petrol. In addition, the synthetic fibres found on fleeces burn relatively easily.” Dr Hadden advised, “If you are working with fuels, do this outside and in a well-aerated place. Wear natural fibres as far as possible, as they don’t build up static as much and don’t burn as easily.”
Dr Hadden’s interview can be found from 1:10 onwards here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08n0yc4