Without FRs, today’s fires are “bigger, stronger, faster”
US research and fire safety testing organisations are working together to understand how fires develop in today’s buildings, carrying out more than 200 structural fire experiments. The website http://modernfirebehavior.com/ provides a portal to the research results and conclusions for fire-fighting tactics. The researchers say “Fires today can develop more aggressively and potentially pose more dangers than just a few decades ago … largely because construction materials and contents can be much more volatile than they used to be”.
Furniture and bedding are cited as today being fast-burning, energy-rich and highly combustible, as shown in a video from Underwriters Laboratories. The researchers state “Pound for pound, the energy rate has increased three or four times”. They note that fire danger is further accentuated because modern homes are very well insulated with little air entry, so that fires burn slowly with low oxygen producing thick black smoke, and can suddenly go to flashover in 30 seconds if a door or window is opened.http://ModernFireBehavior.com is a joint effort of www.FirefighterCloseCalls.com and the Underwriters Laboratories Fire Safety Research Institute http://ulfirefightersafety.com/
Video “Comparison of room furnishings: legacy room, modern room”, Underwriters Laboratories 2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mulnwTNhV6Q
“New Fires, New Tactics – as modern furnishings and construction methods lead to bigger, more aggressive fires, a wealth of new research is leading the fire service to re-examine fundamental practices for fighting residential fires”, J. Roman, NFPA Journal Jan/Feb 2015 http://www.nfpa.org/newsandpublications/nfpa-journal/2015/january-february-2015/features/fire-tactics
ModernFireBehaviour – An informational clearinghouse of modern fire behaviour research coupled with modern day tactics http://modernfirebehavior.com/