The Primer on Spontaneous Heating and Pyrophoricity is approved for use by all DOE Components. It was developed to help DOE facility contractors prevent fires caused by spontaneous combustion. Spontaneously combustible materials include those that ignite
because of a slow buildup of heat (spontaneous heating) and those that ignite instantly in air (pyrophoricity). The scientific principles of combustion and how they affect materials
known to be spontaneously combustible are explained. The fire hazards of specific
spontaneously heating and pyrophoric materials are discussed as well as techniques to
prevent their ignition. Suitable fire extinguishing agents are included for most materials as
well as safety precautions for storage and handling.