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Estimating Data for the Incapacitation of People by Fire Smoke.

pdf icon Estimating Data for the Incapacitation of People by Fire Smoke. (63 K)
Gann, R. G.

Fire Technology, Vol. 40, No. 2, 201-207, April 2004.


smoke; incapacitation; toxicity; LC50; carbon monoxide; rats; animals; exposure


Fire hazard and risk analyses establish the basis for providing conditions of safety for people, including those that are more sensitive to fire smoke than others. For this purpose, this paper develops a method for estimating, from information on lethal and incapacitating exposures for the median rat, smoke toxic potency values for incapacitation of smoke-sensitive people. For those engineering applications where the mix of combustibles is unknown, generic values are derived of the concentration of smoke that would incapacitate smoke-sensitive people in 5 min: 6 g/mu3 for a well-ventilated fire and 3 g/mu3 for a post-flashover fire. These values are estimated with significant assumptions in their derivation, resulting in an estimated uncertainty of about a factor of two. Further, there is a wide range of smoke toxic potency values reported for various combustibles, and some of these will lead to values significantly higher or lower than these generic figures.