Impact of a Residential Sprinkler on the Heat Release Rate of a Christmas Tree Fire.
Impact of a Residential Sprinkler on the Heat Release
Rate of a Christmas Tree Fire.
NISTIR 7506; 25 p. May 2008.
Sponsor:Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC
sprinklers; residential buildings; heat release rate;
impact; fire prevention; heat flux; mass loss;
experiments; moisture content; ignition; compartments;
matches; fire growth; flashover; weather effects;
Although the number of Christmas tree fires is low,
these fires carry a higher level of hazard than other
fires that occur in a residential structure. This study,
supported by the U. S. Fire Administration, has the
following three objectives: 1) characterize the heat
release rate of dry Fraser fir trees 2) demonstrate the
ignition resistance of a tree with a high moisture
content and 3) examine the impact of a residential
sprinkler on the heat release rate of a dry tree that is
on fire in a compartment. The heat release rates of the
trees which were allowed to dry ranged from 3.2 MW to
4.3 MW. Trees that were kept in water, so that the
needles maintained a moisture content in excess of 100%,
self-extinguished after being exposed to a flaming book
of matches. The data from the furnished sprinklered room
experiment demonstrated that even under conditions of
extreme fire growth, a single sprinkler was able to
prevent flashover and limit the spread of fire to other
objects. The peak heat release rate, from the
sprinklered room, was limited to approximately 1.8 MW.
The furnished non-sprinklered room experiment generated
a post-flashover heat release rate in excess of 6 MW.