Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure

Fire Training Research Experiments Conducted Inside Concrete Structures

May 29, 2020

The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) completed a series of experiments inside concrete training structures as part of the "Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure." This phase of experiments looked to quantify the fire dynamics in a concrete structure relative to various fuel packages. Nine experiments were conducted, encompassing three different fuel packages and three different ventilation configurations. The three fuel packages were: 1) pallets & straw, 2) pallets, straw & OSB, and 3) a residential living room. Each package was evaluated for initial growth, potential for ventilation limited conditions and response to ventilation by providing no vents, a vent in the fire room or a vent remote to the fire room. Additionally, instrumentation was used to explore the heat transfer through structural turnout gear and the potential chemical exposure during training evolutions.

Any use of non-NFPA 1403 compliant fuels was conducted as a demonstration. Demonstrations may provide the ability to show flashover, flow paths, other fire dynamics principles and exterior water application without ever placing a student or instructor in the building.

The results of this phase aim to help fire service instructors of live fire training to better understand the environment within a concrete training building and how well different tactics can be demonstrated with this type of training.

Phase three of this project will include experiments exploring the fire dynamics and tactical effectiveness inside metal container training props.



Relevant Resources: 

RESOURCE #1: UL FSRI Project Page - Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure

RESOURCE #2: Research Report - Safety and Fidelity in Concrete Live Fire Training Buildings

RESOURCE #3: Research Report - Evaluation of the Thermal Conditions and Smoke Obscuration of Live Fire Training Fuel Packages