Danger Highly Flammable Warning Sign Chemical Burn Bumper Sticker
The degree of difficulty required to cause the combustion of a substance is subject to quantification through fire testing. Internationally, a variety of test protocols exist to quantify flammability. The ratings achieved are used in building codes, insurance requirements, fire codes and other regulations governing the use of building materials as well as the storage and handling of highly flammable substances inside and outside of structures and in surface and air transportation. For instance, changing an occupancy by altering the flammability of the contents requires the owner of a building to apply for a building permit to make sure that the overall fire protection design basis of the facility can take the change into account. For existing buildings, fire codes focus on maintaining the occupancies as originally intended. In other words, if a portion of a building were designed as an apartment, one could not suddenly load it with flammable liquids and turn it into a gas storage facility, because the fire load and smoke development in that one apartment would be so immense as to overtax the active fire protection as well as the passive fire protection means for the building. The handling and use of flammable substances inside a building is subject to the local fire code, which is ordinarily enforced by the local fire prevention officer. The word “inflammable” came from Latin “'inflammāre” = “to set fire to,” where the prefix “'in-”' means “in” as in “inside”, rather than “not” as in “invisible” and “ineligible.” Nontheless, “inflammable” is often erroneously thought to mean “non-flammable.” To avoid this safety hazard, “flammable” is now more commonly used, not only as a warning label, but in standard speech and writing as well, when referring to physical combustibility.