Knowledge of fire dynamics is vital when it comes to identifying a fire’s origin and cause. The key to mastering fire dynamics is understanding how ventilation affects fire behavior. UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute’s (FSRI) two-year fire investigation project, currently in progress, is conducting much-needed scientific research into how ventilation impacts fire patterns and electrical system damage in single-family homes.
Full-scale testing will be performed in representative models of modern single-family homes that incorporate modern construction practices. Here’s why: over the past 30 years, home construction materials, contents, size and geometry have changed drastically—and consequently, so has fire behavior. Today’s fires, thriving as they do on predominantly synthetic materials, tend to become ventilation-limited. How and where a fire receives oxygen greatly impacts the fire dynamics and subsequent fire patterns.
In addition to full-scale, realistic testing, the study will include:
Upon the study’s completion, investigators will be able to leverage science-based comparisons of the various types of ventilation they encounter on firegrounds across the country, every day.
The results will also provide a baseline for future fire investigator training, as well as for modifying reference materials such National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 921, an area of concern in the fire investigation community.
Last but not least, a comprehensive fire investigator outreach program will help bring this fire science to the street.