colonial and ranch style house built inside of a large lab

Peer-Reviewed Publications Contribute to Validation of Computational Fire Models for Residential Applications

February 10, 2022

The Validation of CFD fire model pressure predictions for modern residential style structures has been published in the Fire Safety Journal and the accompanying article Gas burner experiments conducted in modern residential style structures that provides access to the raw data collected in full-scale gas burner experiments has been published in Data in Brief. 

As part of the National Institute of Justice-funded Impact of Ventilation on Fire Patterns project, this study involved using the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) computational fire model to predict the environmental conditions generated from gas burner experiments in a ranch structure and colonial style structure as the ventilation conditions in the structure were modified. The experiments were specifically designed and carried out to contribute to the body of validation data for computational fire model predictions. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis on the pressures predicted in the simulations was conducted using various sets of input parameters to provide guidance to model practitioners. The dataset, validation exercise, and sensitivity analysis have improved the overall confidence for the prediction of pressures in single- and two-story spaces which incorporate modern construction practices and elements.

The fire modeling community currently lacks full-scale data from tests conducted in realistic residential-style structures. Controlled gas burner tests were conducted in purpose-built single- and two-story structures instrumented throughout with thermocouples, pressure transducers, and bi-directional probes. Experiments consisted of sequences of ventilation events. The data collected in these tests were intended to provide several new validation cases for the fire modeling community.

The Data in Brief article allows us to provide the entirety of the data collected in the gas burner experiments to the public in a citable and version-controlled format. By making these data public, we are contributing to the validation of fire models and the use of these models to predict the environmental conditions in structure fires. The improved understanding of fire-induced flows in residential structures and the sets of validation data yielded from this work are valuable to the forensic fire investigation community as well as the fire modeling community. Validation of fire models and demonstration of the use of fire models to predict flow phenomena driven by fires in residential occupancies is an important step in widespread acceptance of fire modeling as a tool to be used by investigators in fire scene reconstruction and hypothesis testing. 

Click here to read the Journal Article. 

Click here to read the Data Brief. 

This work was part of a larger series of experiments that studied the impact of ventilation on fire patterns. Those data can be explored via our Fire Investigation Data Portal.  


About Fire Safety Journal:

Fire Safety Journal is the leading publication dealing with all aspects of fire safety engineering. Its scope is purposefully wide, as it is deemed important to encourage papers from all sources within this multidisciplinary subject, thus providing a forum for its further development as a distinct engineering discipline. This is an essential step towards gaining a status equal to that enjoyed by the other engineering disciplines. 

About Data in Brief:

Data in Brief is a multidisciplinary, open access, peer-reviewed journal, which publishes short, digestible articles that describe and provide access to research data.


Impact of Ventilation on Fire Patterns