Scaling of Wood Pallet Fires

Report Date: February 2017

To better understand fire behavior, fire researchers conduct live-fire testing to support theoretical work. Ideally these tests would be done in full scale. However, due to cost and facility constraints, most live-fire research cannot be done in full scale. 

This paper explores a theoretical method for scaling fire behavior and then validates the method with live-fire testing on various scales of a pallet structure. The testing shows a strong correlation to the theoretical method and gives further insight into understanding fire growth and fire behavior. Learning from research into fires will help firefighters to better understand fire behavior and thereby fight fires more efficiently.


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  • SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

    SP applies its internationally leading competence to the development and evaluation of technologies, material, products, and processes to meet its customers' needs and provide an effective link between research and commercialization.

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    We investigate and test the behaviour of materials and products in fires. The results can be used for type approval and certification in Sweden and in other countries. We test extinguishants and fire-fighting equipment.

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    Fire Safety Journal is an international journal devoted to research on Fire Safety Science and Engineering and the official Journal of the International Association for Fire Safety Science.

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    • Fire chemistry and physics
    • Fire dynamics (including gas explosions)
    • Active fire protection systems, including detection and suppression
    • Passive fire protection methods
    • People/fire interactions (physical, physiological and psychological)
    • Fire safety management
    • Assessment and quantification of fire risk (including acceptability of risk)
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Li, Ying Zhen and Haukur Ingason. Scaling of Wood Pallet Fires. Fire Safety Journal Volume 88, pp. 96-103. 2017. Accessed from:

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