Impact of Ventilation on Fire Patterns
This fire investigation project completes scientific research into how ventilation impacts fire patterns and electrical system damage in single-family homes by performing full-scale testing in representative models of modern single-family homes that incorporate modern construction practices.
Over the past 30 years, home construction materials, contents, size and geometry have changed drastically - and consequently, so has fire behavior. Today’s fires, thriving as they do on predominantly synthetic materials, tend to become ventilation-limited. How and where a fire receives oxygen greatly impacts the fire dynamics and subsequent fire patterns.
Knowledge of fire dynamics is critical for fire investigators to properly identify a fire’s origin. Fire dynamics depend on the relationship of the fuel, heat, and ventilation during a fire event. A ventilation change as simple as a door left open by an occupant fleeing the fire, a window open remote from the fire, or a window that fails as a result of fire growth could greatly impact the fire damage inside the structure.
- Improve investigators’ understanding of fire patterns by increasing knowledge of fire behavior and the impact of ventilation on different fire scenarios.
- Develop knowledge of fire patterns within full-sized modern residential homes, incorporating an open floor plan and two-story great room.
- Identify and disseminate standard best practices for the use of fire damage and patterns resulting from ventilation during a fire.
- Conduct fire modeling based on a series of full-scale fire experiments to further the linkage between modeling, fire ventilation and fire patterns.