Fire Instructor I
Poinciana, Florida Live-Fire Training Deaths — July, 2002
NIOSH Report, 2002-34
Florida State Fire Marshal Report
Preventing Deaths and Injuries to Fire Fighters during Live-Fire Training in Acquired Structures, CDC Workplace Solutions — November, 2004
Links to Instructor Resources
Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute Drill of the Month
FirefighterCloseCalls.com Weekly Fire Drills
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
|EXPERIMENT:||DATE:||CARPET & PAD:||PALLETS:||HAY:||LUAN DOOR:
*Foam mattress obtained from the FBC training site.
The test structure was equipped with instrumentation to monitor and record measurements from various parameters including video, thermal imaging, heat flux and air temperatures. Swatches of firefighter protective bunker gear and two plastic tiles (simulate protective face shield) were mounted on the wall approximately two feet off the floor inside the fire room and in the hallway just outside the fire room. There were two Personal Alarm Signaling (PASS) devices that were mounted on a stand inside the fire room. A hand-held remote temperature monitor was held in the safe observation area approximately forty feet in front of the window outside of the fire room.
The hay inside the closet was ignited with a remote electronic match and road flare. After the initial ignition of the hay inside the closet, flames progressively built into free burning involvement of the other fuels in the room with heavy production of smoke that banked down across the room and eventually filled the room with a thick blanket of smoke from ceiling to floor. During this time the glass in the window opening began to crack from the increase in room temperature.
The remote hand-held temperature monitor reading rose to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. After three minutes and thirty seconds from the initial ignition the window glass was broken out with a pike pole. Within five to 10 seconds the temperature monitor registered 1,780 degrees Fahrenheit. During this time a flashover occurred in the fire room before water was applied to extinguish the fire.
In review of my observations, notes and information obtained from the experiments conducted at the NIST Fire Research facility and the conclusions of the investigation of the FBC fire training incident, there are several remarkable factors that are comparable to each event.
The configuration of the fire room allowed for a flashover in every fire load scenario including the fifth experiment where the glass was absent from the window opening.
It appears that the major contributing element of the fuel load was the carpet and foam pad floor covering. The foam mattress was not that significant.
It appears that ventilation was the one major factor in which hot gases and unburned products of combustion were allowed to build up in the fire room. On each of the first four experiments the glass was broken out of the window opening allowing the replenishment of oxygen to support combustion causing the flashover.
Examination of the test building presented burn patterns similar to the FBC fire training incident. It is understood that it is impossible to re-create the exact fire behavior of any particular structure fire because there are too many known and unknown variables. That is why it is important to conduct several experiments and obtain many measurements for data input into the fire modeling computer program. This process will give us a close understanding of the fire dynamics involved in the FBC fire training incident. Data collected from the experiments will be reflected in the forthcoming NIST report.
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