SFPE WEBINAR: Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure
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Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure Presented by Joseph Willi, Research Engineer III, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) SFPE MEMBER FEE: FREE NON-MEMBERS FEE: $29

 Export to Your Calendar 4/29/2019
When: Monday, April 29, 2019
11:00 AM
Where: Virtual
United States

Online registration is available until: 4/29/2019
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Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure

Presented by Joseph Willi, Research Engineer III, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI)

Several recent fireground line of duty deaths have highlighted the importance for firefighters to understand the ventilation-limited fire dynamics that they may encounter. This need is reflected 2013 edition of NFPA 1403: Standard on Live Fire Training, which provides guidelines for conducting ventilation-limited fire training. This presentation examines the ability of various live fire training facilities to achieve ventilation-limited fire conditions. 

A series of 8 experiments was conducted comparing the fire dynamics produced in a concrete live fire training building by two NFPA 1403-compliant fuel loads to a fuel load composed of furnishings. The concrete live fire training building was instrumented with sensors to measure temperature, heat flux, pressure, and gas velocity. The results indicated that the training fuel packages did not replicate ventilation-controlled conditions, due in part to the large amount of leakage in the concrete live fire training building. Additionally, conditions were created using training fuel packages that had the potential to cause burn injuries to firefighters.

 A separate series of experiments was conducted using the same fuel loads as the concrete building tests inside L-shaped props with three different wall lining materials. The first type of prop had an interior wall lining of gypsum board on top of wood studs and fiberglass insulation to resemble modern residential construction. The two other props were constructed from shipping containers with corrugated steel walls; one type had interior walls composed solely of the corrugated steel, while the other had an interior wall lining that consisted of rolled steel sheeting over mineral wool insulation with the corrugated wall as its backing. 

A stochastic approach was used to quantify the differences in thermal environments between test configurations. Temperature data were compared between replicate tests to evaluate the repeatability associated with each type of prop and fuel package. Additionally, results from data comparisons between tests with identical fuel packages in different props and vice versa were used to evaluate the differences between the lining materials and fuel loads. 

Fires were determined to be repeatable for each lining material and each fuel load. Of the three props, fires in the gypsum prop produced the most severe conditions. Overall, the differences in temperature data between tests in the metal props were indistinguishable from the measurement uncertainty, suggesting that the additional layer of insulation did not significantly affect fire dynamics. The addition of OSB to the pallets and straw fuel load significantly increased the severity of the fire environment and sometimes caused the heat flux and temperature to exceed the exposure limits of firefighter personal protective equipment at potential locations of trainees, remote from the fire. Finally, results from tests involving interior suppression in each type of prop indicated that the thermal exposure to the firefighter was more severe in the metal props than the gypsum prop for a brief period following the start of suppression.

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