Thursday, July 19, 2012

Research Project for fighting fires

Firefighting tactics developed hundreds of years ago may not apply today when furniture is no longer made primarily of wood. Fires that smolder on plastic furniture become suddenly energized when a firefighter smashes a hole in the roof to 'cool' the flames.

But how do you overturn scores of years of experience by following a hunch? You don't. Instead, you carefully light a series of fires under similar conditions and fight them using different techniques.

NIST researchers participated in a series of wind-driven fire experiments in a seven-story building on Governors Island, New York, in February 2008. Photo credit: NIST. 
This series of fires was lit a few weeks ago on Governor's Island under the supervision of NIST. The units were old barracks, providing the uniformity  needed for the test. The testers used the same furniture in each unit and started the fires in the same place with the only variables being where and when to vent the area, when to add water and from which direction, roof or window?

The results are being analyzed and we will hopefully find less firefighters losing their lives using old, unsafe tactics. What a great experiment! Can't wait for the answer.

No comments:

Post a Comment