One of the main sources of fires and explosions is combustible dust. Combustible dust is very dangerous and can come from many different materials. These materials, in their solid forms, can be dangerous if ignited, but in a dust form, they are extremely combustible. While wood dust is the most common type of combustible dust, sugar, rubber dust and plastic powder can be just as hazardous.  In many manufacturing facilities, the presence and accumulation of combustible dust is a very large hazard. It is very easy for the dust to settle onto surfaces such as the floor, shelves and top equipment.

In order for the dust to combust, or ignite, a spark must be present. In manufacturing facilities, the equipment used often generates sparks and enough heat to ignite the dust, thus causing explosions. These explosions are not limited to their area of detonation, they spread of the explosive force may ignite other settlements of combustible dust, resulting in an explosive chain of reactions.