Evaluating Positive Pressure Ventilation in Large Structures: School Pressure and Fire Experiments

Report Date: July 2008

A series of experiments was run by NIST in large school building to examine the ability of positive pressure ventilation (PPV) fans to limit smoke spread or to remove smoke from areas where occupants may be located. The experiments demonstrated that the fire service PPV fans can be used in large commercial buildings or other structures to increase tenability of potential victims and to improve conditions for firefighting crews.


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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 Daniel Madrzykowski. Evaluating Positive Pressure Ventilation in Large Structures: School Pressure and Fire Experiments. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2008. NIST Technical Note 1498, Print.

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