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Impact of Sprinklers on the Fire Hazard in Dormitories: Day Room Fire Experiments.


pdf icon Impact of Sprinklers on the Fire Hazard in Dormitories: Day Room Fire Experiments. (2762 K)
Madrzykowski, D.; Stroup, D. W.; Walton, W. D.

NISTIR 7120; 87 p. June 2004.

Keywords:

sprinklers; dormitories; fire hazard; experiments; corridor tests; fire data; flashover; heat flux; large scale fire tests; temperature measurements

Abstract:

As part of a U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) initiative to improve fire safety in college housing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted two series of full-scale fire experiments in abandoned dormitory buildings. The objective of the study is to compare the levels of hazard created by room fires in a dormitory building with and without automatic fire sprinklers in the room of fire origin. One series of experiments was conducted with the fires initiated in a dormitory sleeping room. These experiments were conducted by NIST in cooperation with the University of Arkansas and the Fayetteville Fire Department. The results of these experiments will be provided in a separate report. This report describes a series of experiments where fires are initiated in a day room area open to the corridor of the dormitory. These experiments were conducted by NIST in cooperation with the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority, the Myrtle Beach Fire Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). This paper will provide a description of the experimental conditions including a description of the building construction, the fuel load in the day rooms, and the location of the instrumentation used to measure temperature and heat flux in the day room and the adjacent corridor. Smoke alarm activation and sprinkler activation times are also reported. The results from the experiments comparing the sprinklered and non-sprinklered day room are presented. The results from these experiments demonstrate the life safety benefits of smoke alarms and automatic fIfe sprinkler systems in college dormitories. For further information on the USF A College Campus Fire Safety Program contact: www.usfa.fema.gov/publications.