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If you are cooking with flour and let a cloud of it fill the air above the stove, poof, the flour dust could suddenly turn into a shower of flames. Flour is flammable and particles may ignite to create a fireball, says Guy Colonna, a division manager for the industrial and chemical engineering department of the The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). While technically not an explosion, this type of violent combustion can be frightening and dangerous.

"There have been circumstances where people have created short-lived fireballs that can scorch the ceiling or cause other problems, in terms of spreading the fire," Colonna says.

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