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Early Warning Capabilities for Firefighters: Testing of Collapse Prediction Technologies.


pdf icon Early Warning Capabilities for Firefighters: Testing of Collapse Prediction Technologies. (1710 K)
Duron, Z. H.

NIST GCR 03-846; 39 p. February 2003.

Sponsor:

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Keywords:

fire fighters; warning systems; building collapse; training; field tests; warehouses; structural collapse; structures

Abstract:

This report details a two-year effort to develop and evaluate an early warning capability for firefighters to detect structural collapse in a burning structure. The methodology developed is based on monitoring vibrations in the structure induced by the fire and using these measurements to define indices that provide warning of impending collapse. Field test procedures and instrumentation were developed and shown to be effective in measuring structural vibrations during full-scale burn tests on wood and steel frame structures. Attempts to correlate measured responses with changes in structural behavior during burn have shown that trends in response magnitude, response statistics and in changing system parameters can all be used to track changing structural conditions leading to collapse.