Klote, J. H.
NFPA SFPE 95; LC Card Number 95-68247;
SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering. 2nd
Edition. Section 4. Chapter 12, National Fire
Protection Assoc., Quincy, MA, DiNenno, P. J.; Beyler,
C. L.; Custer, R. L. P.; Walton, W. D., Editor(s),
4/230-245 p., 1995.
fire protection; fire protection engineering; smoke
control; smoke movement; heating; ventilation; air
conditioning; stairwells; elevators (lifts);
acceptability; stack effect; buoyancy; expansion; wind
effects; air flow; pressurization; piston effect;
In building fire situations, smoke often flows to
locations remote from the fire, threatening life and
damaging property. Stairwells and elevators frequently
become smoke-logged, thereby blocking and/or an
inhibiting evacuation. Today smoke is recognized as the
major killer in fire situations. In the late 1960s, the
idea of using pressurization to prevent smoke
infiltration of stairwells started to attract attention.
This was followed by the idea of the "pressure
sandwich," i.e., venting or exhausting the fire floor
and pressurizing the surrounding floors. Frequently, the
building's ventilation system is used for this purpose.
The term "smoke control" was coined as a name for such
systems that use pressurization produced by mechanical
fans to limit smoke movement in fire situations.
Research in the field of smoke control has been
conducted in Australia, Canada, England, France, Japan,
the United States, and West Germany. This research has
consisted of field tests, full-scale fire tests, and
computer simulations. Many buildings have been built
with smoke control systems and numerous others have been
retrofitted for smoke control. In this chapter the term
smoke is defined in accordance with the Americal Society
for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA) definitions which state
that smoke consists of the airborne solid and liquid
particulates and gases evolved when a material undergoes
pyrolysis of combustion.