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Assessing the Accuracy of a Physical Fire Model for Obtaining Smoke Toxic Potency Data.

pdf icon Assessing the Accuracy of a Physical Fire Model for Obtaining Smoke Toxic Potency Data. (244 K)
Gann, R. G.; Averill, J. D.; Marsh, N. D.; Nyden, M. R.

Volume 2;

Interflam 2007. (Interflam '07). International Interflam Conference, 11th Proceedings. Volume 2. September 3-5, 2007, London, England, 1021-1032 pp, 2007.


toxicity; smoke; fire models; fire tests; room burns; combustion products; standards; building codes; flashover; couches; carbon monoxide; cables; carbon dioxide; occupants; FT-IR


A principal component of the engineering of a building is providing for the safety of occupants and responders in the event of a fire. This includes estimation of the time available for people to escape or to find safe refuge within. An accurate, quantitative methodology for this estimation is critical. As noted in a recent analysis by Hall, some 310,000 to 670,000 people in the United States alone are annually exposed to smoke from reported home fires. He further found that: "Roughly half of the deaths and roughly two-thirds of the injuries could be prevented were the times to incapacitating exposures lengthened sufficiently to result in a more favorable outcome." Today's fire safety professionals use diverse and ad hoc approaches to make these estimates, in part due to there being no widely accepted methodology of known accuracy for generating the smoke toxic potency data needed as input. There is a wide range of combustible items used in buildings. It is unrealistic to expect a comprehensive database of human or surrogate animal measurements of the smoke toxicity from real-scale burning of these items. Rather, data are commonly obtained from measurements of the toxic components of the smoke that are generated when test specimens are combusted in a bench-scale physical fire model.