Effect of Positive Pressure Ventilation on a Room Fire

Report Date: March 2005

Positive pressure ventilation (PPV) can be used during fire attack to pressurize a structure in order to help vent smoke and combustion products to make attacking the fire easier than without PPV. However, this tactic also provides additional oxygen to the fire. This NIST study examines the use of PPV versus natural ventilation in a series of fire experiments in a furnished room. The research provides a better understanding of the effects of ventilation and helps to establish guidelines for the optimum use of PPV during fire attack.


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  • National Institute of Standards and Technology

    The NIST Fire Research Division develops, verifies, and utilizes measurements and predictive methods to quantify the behavior of fire and means to reduce the impact of fire on people, property, and the environment. This work involves integration of laboratory measurements, verified methods of prediction, and large-scale fire experiments to demonstrate the use and value of the research products.

    Through its programs in measurement, prediction, systems integration, and the dynamics of fire and its interactions with the built and natural environment, the division provides leadership for advancing the theory and practice of fire safety engineering, fire fighting, fire investigation, fire testing, fire data management, and intentional burning.

Kerber, Stephen and William Walton. Effect of Positive Pressure Ventilation on a Room Fire. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2005. NISTIR 7213, Print.

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