Flashover is a very dangerous phenomenon, in which all of the exposed combustible materials in an enclosed area near-simultaneously ignite. Thanks to a new AI-based system, however, firefighters may soon receive warnings when flashover is imminent.
Typically, flashovers occur when a structure fire causes the temperature in an enclosed space to reach at least 593 ºC (1,100 ºF) – this is the approximate autoignition temperature of many commonly used organic materials. As a result, they will emit flammable gases and ignite at more or less the same time, even if they haven't been directly exposed to flames.
Needless to say, firefighters do not want to be in a building when a flashover occurs. Given the chaos and limited visibility inside burning structures, though, it can be difficult for them to spot visible warning signs such as flames rolling across the ceiling.