Full-Scale Fire Tests with Automatic Sprinklers in a Patient Room. Interim Report.
Full-Scale Fire Tests with Automatic Sprinklers in a
Patient Room. Interim Report.
O'Neill, J. G.; Hayes, W. D., Jr.
NBSIR 79-1749; 50 p. June 1979.
Sponsor:Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington,
Available from: National Technical Information Service
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health care facilities; hospitals; mattresses; smoke
movement; sprinkler systems; polyurethane foams; cotton;
The Center for Fire Research is conducting a research
program to examine the use of automatic sprinklers in
patient rooms of health care facilities. This is an
interim report of eight full-scale fire tests in which
the effectiveness of automatic sprinklers was measured
in terms of fire control and overall life safety. These
fire tests simulated the scenario in which mattresses
with bedding constituted the burning items. Analysis of
test results indicate that prior to sprinkler operation,
smoke obscuration reached critical levels in the burn
room doorway and adjacent corridor such that rescue of
patients in the burn room and the use of the corridor as
an exit way would have been seriously impeded.
Immediately following sprinkler operation, there was
total obscuration from floor to ceiling throughout the
corridor and lobby area. For several tests, a privacy
curtain was installed between the sprinkler head and the
bed. The shielding action delayed extinguishment and
the carbon monoxide concentrations increased
significantly. In these cases it was estimated that the
carboxyhemoglobin level for a patient in an adjacent bed
would reach levels for a patient in an adjacent bed
would reach levels considered hazardous. In other tests
where the privacy curtain was not installed and this
shielding did not occur, the estimated hazardous
threshold was not reached.