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Acquisition, Analysis and Reporting of Fire Plume Data for Fire Safety Engineering.

pdf icon Acquisition, Analysis and Reporting of Fire Plume Data for Fire Safety Engineering. (875 K)
Sheppard, D. T.; Meacham, B. J.

Fire Safety Science. Proceedings. Sixth (6th) International Symposium. International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS). July 5-9, 1999, Poitiers, France, Intl. Assoc. for Fire Safety Science, Boston, MA, Curtat, M., Editor(s), 195-206 pp, 2000.


National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD


fire research; fire safety; fire science; fire plumes; safety engineering; fire models; evaluation; fire tests; uncertainty; computer models; experiments; data analysis; temperature


In order to undertake engineering analyses and designs that can be readily accepted by building and fire authorities, fire protection engineers need engineering tools and methods with known degrees of accuracy and reliability. Furthermore, fire protection engineers need valid and applicable input data with known degrees of uncertainty and variability for use in those engineering tools and methods. As a means to begin addressing these concerns, an effort to been initiated to formally evaluate the stated applications, limitations, and uses of computer fire models, and issue reports on the findings. To support the evaluation effort, over 50 fire tests were conducted in a 37 meter x 37 meter test room with ceiling heights ranging from 6.1 meters to 12.2 meters. In addition to using the data for the computer model evaluation effort, further analysis of the data included comparison of plume temperatures and ceiling jet temperatures as a function of fire size and ceiling height. This paper presents a general discussion on the need for valid and accurate data for fire safety engineering, and details the results of the plume analysis, including presentation of a plume temperature correlation with a new proportionality constant, C, and a 95% prediction interval. Comparison of the test data with plume correlations and proportionality constants of others is also presented.