Effects of Different Suppression Tactics on the Firefighter and Compartment Environment

Report Date: January 2011

When considering initial suppression tactics for a compartment fire, the effects on both the compartment environment and the firefighter must be taken into account. Full-scale experiments were conducted at the University of Waterloo Live Fire Research Facility to test the effects of several water-based initial attack methods on a compartment fire. While extreme, the fire conditions created in the facility were realistic and repeatable. The suppression methods were tested using a fixed nozzle rig and included straight stream, penciling, continuous wide fog, narrow fog, and a wide angle burst. Variables such as temperatures, heat flux, and gas concentrations were monitored throughout the compartment for the duration of the experiment. The suppression methods were compared using both the average cooling in the compartment and the impact on the firefighter. The details of the experiments and results were published in the International Association for Fire Safety Science symposium proceedings.


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  • International Association for Fire Safety Science

    IAFSS was founded with the primary objective of encouraging research into the science of preventing and mitigating the adverse effects of fires and of providing a forum for presenting the results of such research.The International Association for Fire Safety Science perceives its role to lie in the scientific bases for achieving progress in unsolved fire problems. It will seek cooperation with other organizations, be they concerned with application or with the sciences that are fundamental to our interests in fire. It will seek to promote high standards, to encourage and stimulate scientists to address fire problems, to provide the necessary scientific foundations and means to facilitate applications aimed at reducing life and property loss. Since its inaugural meeting, the IAFSS has grown to more than four hundred members. Current members come from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States of America. The Association is legally established as a charitable organization in England and Wales.

  • University of Waterloo Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

    Part of Canada's largest engineering school, the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering department at the University of Waterloo is home to nearly 1600 undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff.

    Our programs are designed to produce skilled problem solvers, leaders and innovators able to create mechanical systems and electro-mechanical designs that impact industries and improve the world.

    Research in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at Waterloo has global impact.

    • Waterloo is Canada's largest university for automotive research 
    • The first Canadian university with a full undergraduate mechatronics engineering program
    • First in the country to offer interdisciplinary research and collaborative programs in nanotechnology engineering

Obach, Matthew, Elizabeth Weckman, and Allan Strong. Effects of Different Suppression Tactics on the Firefighter and Compartment Environment. Fire Safety Science – Proceedings of the Tenth International Symposium, pp. 321-344, 2011.

© 2011 International Association for Fire Safety Science.  

Image Credit: http://multimedialab.elis.ugent.be/
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