Research Projects - new technology
Firefighter Safety and Photovoltaic Systems
UL FSRI
April 19, 2010
Firefighter concerns, including vulnerability to electrical and casualty hazards when mitigating a fire involving photovoltaic (PV) modules systems, were examined during this project.
Fire Safety & Skills
Training
UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute advances fire research knowledge and develops cutting-edge, practical fire service education aimed at helping firefighters stay safe.
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UPCOMING EVENTS
Research WITH the Fire Service
In this presentation, UL FSRI Director Stephen Kerber will discuss what it means for UL FSRI to do research WITH the fire service and how this partnership is vital to accomplishing the mission.
Fire Dynamics Course
UL FSRI's Dan Madrzykowski will lead a fire dynamics class as part of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Officer Candidate School.
STEM Presentation
Students will learn about fire dynamics, fire research, and fire safety as part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival Nifty Fifty presentation. The presentation will feature details about UL Xplorlabs and Close Before You Doze. The Nifty Fifty, a program of Science Spark, are a group of noted science and engineering professionals who fan out across the country to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools. Featuring some of the most inspiring role models in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, this signature program of the USA Science and Engineering Festival presents your students with the latest in green technology, engineering, human health and medicine, astronomy and space exploration, nanotechnology, computer science, and more. The Nifty Fifty program featured over 100 STEM role models and reached over 22,000 students during 2016-2018.
Fire Dynamics Course
More information coming soon...
Fire Fighting Operational Thermal Environment
This presentation will help you understand the negative effects of elevated temperatures exposure on the performance of fire fighter gear and learn how NFPA standards are being developed and modified to address these issues. Participants will also gain knowledge of the testing methods and apparatus used by NIST researchers for fire equipment investigations in support of these standards.
Fire Dynamics for Structural Firefighting
The National Fire Service Staff and Command Course is presented by the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute in cooperation with the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Attendees of the program will explore current and evolving concepts in fire/EMS service management, leadership, and administration. This course is designed specifically for chief officers and those aspiring to be chief officers of career, volunteer, and combination departments.
Interior vs. Exterior Attack
FireCARES and NFORS: Leveraging Public Data to Help the Fire Service
Local government decision makers often alter fire department resources faster than fire service leaders can evaluate the potential impact. These decisions can leave a community without sufficient resources to respond to emergency calls safely, efficiently, and effectively. The Fire Community Assessment/Response Evaluation System (FireCARES) enables fire departments to add a technical basis to what has historically been an anecdotal discussion regarding community hazards and risks as well as the impact of changes on fire department resource levels. FireCARES provides three scores for each community based on the available data: the Community Risk Score (fire and EMS), the Fire Department Performance Score, and the Safe Grade. These scores are generated from exploiting an expansive, multilayered data set combining fire incidents, outcomes, and community risk characteristics. Fire and EMS incident data are not without flaws, as they primarily rely on firefighters for data entry. Additionally, there is a two-year data lag on the national level. To overcome this obstacle, we have built the National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS), a real-time data analysis tool that leverages modern data practices while removing firefighters from data entry. This presentation highlights both projects and provides a live demonstration of each.
Understanding and Fighting Basement Fires
The focus is on the key points and tactical considerations of the basement fires study by the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Fire Service Research Institute, funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grant. Many firefighters have been injured or killed while trying to extinguish a basement fire or a fire on a level below them. Students learn that high heat and unexpected floor collapse are high risks in these fires and that techniques and tools firefighters have traditionally used to determine the structural integrity of the floor do not apply when lightweight construction is present. They will observe how the most effective method for fighting a basement fire in some cases is to begin suppression from the building’s exterior. This ISFSI/UL FSRI basement study went beyond earlier research by increasing the size of the basement; incorporating three types of ventilation; and addressing basements that have no exterior access to the basement, limited exterior access to the basement, and exterior access to the basement. Data and videos from a range of experiments are presented. Questions and discussion are encouraged.
Fire Dynamics-Based Approach to Tactical Choices
Normally, firefighters enter the front door of a structure to access a fire to extinguish it. This approach, enabled by the personal protective equipment firefighters wear, has provided positive results, especially if the firefighters can easily locate the fire from their point of entry. However, there have been many cases where the firefighters did not find the fire; instead, the fire found them. In fire incidents where firefighters were overtaken by the fire, the “one-size-fits-all” fire attacks were not effective. Unfortunately, there are a number of these incidents where firefighters were killed or injured. In this presentation, the latest Underwriters Laboratories Fire Service Research Institute (UL FSRI) research results, supported by physics, are coupled with examples from fireground incidents to demonstrate why additional options are needed in your tactical toolbox. Size-up, understanding what the fire is showing you, and then deciding the best strategic and tactical approach are key to an effective fire attack. New for this year are tips for teaching the fire dynamics basics to your department, based on UL FSRI Fire Dynamics Bootcamps.
Fire Dynamics in Concrete Live-Fire Training Buildings
Recent firefighter line-of-duty deaths as a result of rapid fire progression have highlighted a deficiency in firefighters’ understanding of ventilation-controlled fires and the effects of tactics on fire dynamics. One reason for this gap in understanding is the way firefighters conduct live fire training. The typical fuels used for firefighter training, such as pallets, straw, and other wood-based products, produce different fire dynamics than those produced by the synthetic foams and plastics common to contents in modern homes. The results of eight experiments conducted in a concrete live fire training building are discussed from the perspectives of tactics and firefighter safety. Students learn why traditional-style live fire training does not provide the environment for teaching firefighters ventilation-controlled fire behavior and the associated firefighting techniques. Students are given innovative solutions for mitigating some of the limitations of concrete live fire training buildings and a comparison of the fire dynamics found in various types of training props.
Exterior Attack and Interior Attack: What's the Difference?
The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (UL FSRI) has just completed a first-of-its-kind project focused solely on the potential impact of using interior and exterior fire streams on victims and firefighters. There are three main experiment components of the study: air entrainment, water distribution, and full-scale fire. The project culminated with a series of live-fire experiments to determine the interaction of hose streams with the modern fire environment. These studies are guided by a technical panel of firefighters from across the country. The UL FSRI and some technical panel members on the Federal Emergency Management Agency/Assistance to Firefighters Grant-supported fire suppression studies share the highlights from the studies. Bring your questions for the panel. The fire service has been involved in the creation of the research objectives for the project, intended to answer lingering questions. The conclusions to these questions have been crafted into tactical considerations readily adoptable by the fire service.
Using Fire Research for Victim Survivability
This class reviews the considerations for search and rescue gained from the latest firefighter research. More than 84 percent of the fatal home fire injuries occur in one- or two- family dwellings. This statistic underscores the need for search and rescue to be a major incident priority during residential fires. Research over the past 10 years has shown that occupants now have less than three minutes to escape the room of origin and only slightly longer for the structure as a whole. Survivability in structure fires is a complex topic. A combination of thermal exposure, toxic gas exposure, limited oxygen, and irritant gas exposure make it difficult to determine the chance of survival in any given space. Over the past five years, the Underwriters Laboratories Fire Service Research Institute has conducted research on firefighting tactics in residential structures. During those experiments, data were acquired on thermal exposure, toxic gas exposure, oxygen limits, and moisture content. These data can be used to evaluate the survivability of various locations inside a residential structure fire.
The Impact of Ventilation on Fire Patterns in Full-Scale Structures
Changes in home construction materials, contents, and geometry have resulted in changes on the fire scene. Today, structure fires are predominantly fueled by synthetic fuels and commonly become ventilation-controlled. How and where the fire receives oxygen impacts the fire dynamics and resulting fire patterns. This presentation will include videos, photos, and data from full-scale fire experiments conducted at the UL Large Fire Laboratory. A one-story and a two-story structure were used for the experiments. The test scenarios ranged from room fires with no exterior ventilation, to room fires with flow paths that connected the fires with remote intake and exhaust vents throughout the structures. Elevated fires originating in the kitchens were also examined. This project was supported by a grant from the U.S. DoJ NIJ.
General Session Keynote
The Fire Tech Conference is designed specifically for the fire protection engineer, design technician, Fire Marshal, inspector, installer, loss control representative, and building code official. The purpose of this conference is to give the participants the opportunity to develop relationships with peers from industry, network with product distributors and manufacturers, engage experts with regard to current research topics, all while receiving continuing education to further the participant’s professional development. This program will take place on the Oklahoma State University campus, home of the oldest fire and safety related degree program in North America. Coupled with this conference there will be hands-on learning opportunities in the OSU Fire Protection lab to practice your technical skills.
Fire Dynamics for Structural Firefighting
Normally, firefighters enter the front door of a structure to access a fire to extinguish it. This approach, enabled by the personal protective equipment firefighters wear, has provided positive results, especially if the firefighters can easily locate the fire from their point of entry. However, there have been many cases where the firefighters did not find fire. Instead, the fire found them. In fire incidents where firefighters were overtaken by the fire, the “one size fits all” fire attacks were not effective. Unfortunately, there are a number of these incidents where firefighters were killed or injured. In this presentation, the latest Underwriters Laboratories Fire Service Research Institute firefighting research results, supported by physics, are coupled with examples from fireground incidents to demonstrate why additional options are needed in your tactical tool box. Size-up, understanding what the fire is showing you, and then deciding the best strategic and tactical approach is key to an effective fire attack.
Fire Dynamics Course
More information coming soon...
Keynote
More information coming soon...
Fire Dynamics Bootcamp
More information coming soon...
UL FSRI Research Update
Normally, firefighters enter the front door of a structure to access a fire to extinguish it. This approach, enabled by the personal protective equipment firefighters wear, has provided positive results, especially if the firefighters can easily locate the fire from their point of entry. However, there have been many cases where the firefighters did not find fire. Instead, the fire found them. In fire incidents where firefighters were overtaken by the fire, the “one size fits all” fire attacks were not effective. Unfortunately, there are a number of these incidents where firefighters were killed or injured. In this presentation, the latest Underwriters Laboratories Fire Service Research Institute firefighting research results, supported by physics, are coupled with examples from fireground incidents to demonstrate why additional options are needed in your tactical tool box. Size-up, understanding what the fire is showing you, and then deciding the best strategic and tactical approach is key to an effective fire attack.
Fire Research, Tactics, Training and Application
More information coming soon...
UL Xplorlabs & Close Before You Doze
More information coming soon...
Interior vs. Exterior Attack
More information coming soon...
FireCARES and NFORS
Local government decision makers often alter fire department resources faster than fire service leaders can evaluate the potential impact. These decisions can leave a community without sufficient resources to respond to emergency calls safely, efficiently, and effectively. The Fire Community Assessment/Response Evaluation System (FireCARES) enables fire departments to add a technical basis to what has historically been an anecdotal discussion regarding community hazards and risks as well as the impact of changes on fire department resource levels. FireCARES provides three scores for each community based on the available data: the Community Risk Score (fire and EMS), the Fire Department Performance Score, and the Safe Grade. These scores are generated from exploiting an expansive, multilayered data set combining fire incidents, outcomes, and community risk characteristics. Fire and EMS incident data are not without flaws, as they primarily rely on firefighters for data entry. Additionally, there is a two-year data lag on the national level. To overcome this obstacle, we have built the National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS), a real-time data analysis tool that leverages modern data practices while removing firefighters from data entry. This presentation highlights both projects and provides a live demonstration of each.
Impact of Ventilation on Fire Patterns
Changes in home construction materials, contents, and geometry have resulted in changes on the fire scene. Today, structure fires are predominantly fueled by synthetic fuels and commonly become ventilation-controlled. How and where the fire receives oxygen impacts the fire dynamics and resulting fire patterns. This presentation will include videos, photos, and data from full-scale fire experiments conducted at the UL Large Fire Laboratory. A one-story and a two-story structure were used for the experiments. The test scenarios ranged from room fires with no exterior ventilation, to room fires with flow paths that connected the fires with remote intake and exhaust vents throughout the structures. Elevated fires originating in the kitchens were also examined. This project was supported by a grant from the U.S. DoJ NIJ.
Tactical Considerations Based on UL Firefighter Research
More information coming soon...
UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute is dedicated to increasing firefighter knowledge to reduce injuries and deaths in the fire service and in the communities they serve.