Around CE 900 Tao Gu, a Chinese author, wrote
If there occurs an emergency at night it may take some time to make a light to light a lamp. But an ingenious man devised the system of impregnating little sticks of pinewood with sulfur and storing them ready for use. At the slightest touch of fire they burst into flame. One gets a little flame like an ear of corn. This marvellous thing was formerly called a “light-bringing slave”, but afterwards when it became an article of commerce its name was changed to ‘fire inch-stick’
Matches went through evolution as time passed and became more safe for those using and those manufacturing same. By replacing white phosphorus with red phosphorus and making a specially prepared surface for ignition through friction matches are now very safe that we can safely carry it in our pocket without worrying.
There are different types of matches available such as matchbooks, matchboxes, safety matches, strike anywhere matches and lifeboat matches.
As per dangerous goods regulations matches are classified as Class 4.1, Flammable solids. There are three entries in IMDG Code with description about four types of matches.
UN 1331 MATCHES, “STRIKE ANYWHERE”
UN 1944 MATCHES, SAFETY (book, card or strike on box)
UN 1945 MATCHES, WAX ‘VESTA’
Four types of matches are described
Fusee = the heads of which are p prepared with a friction-sensitive igniter composition and a pyrotechnic substance which burns with little or no flame, but with intense heat.
Safety matches = matches that can be ignited by friction on a prepared surface only, kept in or attached to box, book or card.
Strike anywhere =which can be ignited by friction on a solid surface,
remember Clint Eastwood movies.
Wax Vesta = which can be ignited by friction on a prepared surface or on a solid surface.
For transport purpose please refer the correct entry in IMDG Code and apply related provisions.