Technical Panel for Training Fire Exposures from the Source Reviews Preliminary Results for Multi-Compartment Training Fuel Experiments
The technical panel for UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) Training Fire Exposures from the Source: Developing a Risk-Benefit Framework research project met on January 6, 2023 to review preliminary data from the multi-compartment training fuel experiments conducted in September 2022. FSRI research engineer Gavin Horn led the virtual meeting where he provided an update about the overall progress on the project and previewed preliminary data with the panel. In this meeting, the technical panel focused on airborne concentrations of several compounds captured during the live-fire experiments which included the impact of fuel choice, ventilation configuration, and structure layout. These experiments initially focused on comparing environmental conditions created when a fire set is constructed using pallets and straw, oriented strand board (OSB), and/or low density wood fiberboard. Additional experiments were planned and conducted after discussion with the technical panel to include the use of excelsior instead of straw in the fire sets as well as sampling from environments where visual obscuration was generated using only smoke barrels.
Peer-reviewed analysis of these findings and an overall risk assessment will continue over the coming months. Next up, the technical panel will provide the research team with feedback on the proposed risk-benefit framework concept and how it should be structured to support achieving training objectives while maximizing safety.
The objective of this study is to characterize the combined chemical and thermal exposure risks generated from incorporating different training fuel packages — including different materials, amounts, orientations, and ventilation configurations — in live-fire training, and ultimately yield a risk-benefit framework the fire service can reference to inform training fuel package selection.
“Different training environments that can be created can present different cues to the student, but also different risks for firefighters. What we hope to take away from this study is a better understanding of these risks based on these unique training scenarios and compartment environments.”
—Gavin Horn, research engineer, FSRI
Training Fire Exposures from the Source: Developing a Risk-Benefit Framework is a DHS/FEMA AFG supported project that examines the risks and benefits of live-fire training environments with the goal of reducing firefighter fatalities and injuries. The project is a three-year technology research and development study that will conclude at the end of 2023.