Impact of Glazing on Growing Compartment Fires. (Abstract/Presentation)
Impact of Glazing on Growing Compartment Fires.
Pagni, P. J.; Cuzzillo, B. R.
NIST SP 998; May 2003.
fire growth; fire spread; compartment fires; glazing
As we understand it, the purpose of this conference is
to address BFRL/NIST's goal of reducing residential life
loss due to fire. Materials are sought that will slow or
prevent flashover. Since flashover fires are the
killers, the use of such materials will reduce life
loss. That make's sense. But we would like you to think
outside that box in two ways, one primary and one
secondary. Take the secondary first: Pre-flashover fires
also kill. Our conference chair, Dr. William Pitts,
published a landmark summary of CO generation in
compartment fires in the 5th IAFSS Symposium on Fire
Safety Science. He identified an incredibly efficient CO
generation mechanism as the vitiated, high temperature
combustion of wood where nearly all the pyrolysed carbon
emerges as CO.1 The practical consequence of this is
that relatively small fires in small enclosed spaces,
such as kitchen cabinets, or in wood filled plena, such
as basement ceilings, become killers long before
occurs.2 Another case where small fires are deadly,
especially to children, are unventilated enclosures,
usually second floor bedrooms. These cases are
particularly well described by the salt water modeling
methods utilized here at NIST, since this is essentially
a filling problem.3 The solution to both of these
significant life safety problems is better, faster
detection. Among your research priorities please include
improved residential CO and smoke detection systems.
Economics of scale should allow residential owners to
afford reliable, technically sophisticated detectors.