FSRI Conducts Innovative Fuel Package Experiments
As part of the research grant received from FEMA/DHS in 2014 for the “Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure,” FSRI continues to quantify the fire dynamics associated with live-fire training. One important piece of the project focuses on variations in training fuels and their effects on the fidelity (look/feel) of training burns.
To evaluate this, FSRI conducted 21 free burn and 4 compartment heat release rate (HRR) experiments at UL’s headquarters in Northbrook, IL along with 23 training fire experiments in metal container props at the Delaware County Emergency Services Training Center in Sharon Hill, PA.
These experiments looked at how variations in fuel, both NFPA 1403-compliant wood-based fuels and typical home furnishings like sofas and chairs, affected both the energy release rate (i.e., HRR) of the fire along with smoke production, thermal conditions, and the potential for creating ventilation-limited fires. By measuring gas temperature, gas concentration, heat flux, gas velocity, and smoke obscuration (density), these tests look to quantify some common training fuels as compared to room furnishings. The overall goal is not to optimize the training fuel package, but rather to understand the conditions created by the various packages and their potential uses in live-fire training.
These experiments are being analyzed over the next six months with a research report slated for dissemination in August 2018.