Firefighting Tactics Under Wind Driven Conditions: 7-Story Building Experiments

Report Date: April 2009

The presence of wind during a fire can create significant and rapid increases in the heat production and force fire gases through the room of origin into corridors and stairwells, increasing the difficulty in fighting the fire. NIST conducted experiments in a seven-story building to evaluate the ability of positive pressure ventilation fans, wind control devices, and external water application to mitigate the hazards of a wind driven fire in a structure. The results provide a baseline for the hazards associated with a wind driven fire and the impact of pressure, ventilation, and flow paths within a structure, as well as tactics to reduce the thermal hazard of wind driven fires.


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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. Fire Fighting Tactics Under Wind Driven Conditions: 7-Story Building Experiments. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2009. NIST Technical Note 1629, Print.

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