two pallets with straw in a pyramid shape

Fire Technology Article Provides HRR Characterization of NFPA 1403 Compliant Training Fuels

February 16, 2021

Journal article provides data on HRR of NFPA 1403 compliant training fuels.

Over the past several decades, the number of fires that occur in the United States has steadily decreased, resulting in less “on the job” training for newer firefighters. Simultaneously, shifts in furniture materials and building construction have made the residential fireground a less forgiving workplace compared to previous generations. These converging trends illustrate the importance of effective live fire training in preparing firefighters for the fireground.

NFPA 1403 is the standard for live fire training conducted in fixed-facility and acquired structures. Recent editions of the standard have included a procedure for conducting ventilation-limited fire training, in an effort to bridge a potential gap in understanding between training fires, which are typically fuel limited, and fires in contemporary residential homes filled with synthetic furnishings, which have an increase potential to reach a ventilation limited state prior to fire department arrival. Although the standard outlines this procedure, it includes no quantitative information about the heat release rate (HRR) behavior of common training fuel packages.

Heat Release Rate Characterization of NFPA 1403 Compliant Training Fuels is intended to provide data to better inform fire instructors who design live fire training fuel packages, as well as to look at how fuel weight, type, and orientation affect heat release behavior of training fuel packages. Additionally, the paper looks at the HRR of common furnishings, in an effort to further examine the difference between fuels that firefighters encounter on the training ground versus the fireground.

Key objectives for this paper:

  1. Document the HRR characteristics of common NFPA 1403-compliant training fuel packages.
  2. Compare HRR characteristics of training fuels to furniture items.
  3. Provide guidance to the fire service regarding fuel type, quantity, and orientation to complement the information provided in NFPA 1403.

This manuscript is based on research conducted as part of our Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure” project. For more information on the training fuel experiment results, read the Evaluation of the Thermal Conditions and Smoke Obscuration of Live Fire Training Fuel Packages report.

Funding for this project was provided by the Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety Grant #EMW-2014-FP-0047.

Click here to read the article. 

About Fire Technology:

Fire Technology publishes original contributions, both theoretical and empirical, that contribute to the solution of problems in fire safety science and engineering. It is the leading journal in the field, publishing applied research dealing with the full range of actual and potential fire hazards facing humans and the environment. It covers the entire domain of fire safety science and engineering problems relevant in industrial, operational, cultural, and environmental applications, including modeling, testing, detection, suppression, human behavior, wildfires, structures, and risk analysis.

Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure