Facility features include: Electrical testing laboratory to perform forensic examinations and facilitate testing and failure analysis of residential and commercial electrical products, components, equipment and wiring. State-of-the-art control room, fire safety suppression system, and onsite air and water pollution treatment facilities. There are environmental systems that process and cleanse exhaust air prior to release into the atmosphere, and the water treatment facilities eliminate the impact of runoff into the community by collecting and recycling water that is used to suppress test fires.
State-of-the-art Data Acquisition System, which allows for over 2, channels of data to be collected every second. Additional video capabilities include high speed and FLIR thermal imaging cameras. Classroom and training areas for fire investigation and education programs. Support facilities such as shop areas, evidence storage, and instrumentation and conditioning rooms. However, the problems associated with FDS require that large buildings be divided into rooms or zones, with each assigned to an individual computational mesh.
These mutli-mesh models often produce relatively long execution times of days or weeks and typically require parallel processing computing clusters, which require technically challenging set up and maintenance.
These performance gains can only be accomplished using high performance parallel processing computer clusters designed specifically to use operating systems and hardware that exploit the parallel functions of the FDS code. Fire modeling can be separated into two broad categories, physical and mathematical fire modeling.
Physical fire modeling has been around since the dawn of man and consists of burning objects to evaluate their effects. Mathematical fire modeling can further be arranged into three categories based on the types of calculations performed, including: hand calculations, zone models, and computational fluid dynamics models.
A general discussion of each type of modeling is presented in this paper. Computer fire modeling has been used to design and analyze fire protection systems i. This paper focuses on the use of computer fire models for fire investigation purposes and provides a detailed discussion on the input data needed for fire modeling, available education and training, and its application in analyzing fire dynamics. Specifically, the use of computer fire models in validating or refuting an origin hypothesis by comparison of fire patterns was studied.
The fire investigation industry is considered to be lagging behind the rest of the forensic science fields in its assessment of the performance of methodological approaches and conclusions drawn by practitioners within the field. Despite the best efforts of certifying bodies and industry members, there are still many unknowns within the profession. As such, the researchers have collected a large survey of demographics to formulate a picture of our industry with regards to experience, age, employment, training, and opinions regarding methodology within the industry.
In addition to these demographics, the researchers collected data regarding area of origin determination both with and without measurable data depth of char, calcination to evaluate its effectiveness when applied without an on-site scene examination. This permitted the comparison of the demographics and accuracy in determining the most important hypothesis in fire investigations, the area of origin.
It is shown that Thus, the total percentage of participants choosing the correct area increased 3. Additional selected outcomes from this research are presented within this paper. Fire Patterns, as defined by NFPA are the visible or measurable physical effects that remain after a fire. Fire Pattern analysis has been a key factor in the determination of the origin and cause of fires for the past 50 years.
Many years prior to these two initiatives, the Advanced Fire Patterns Project had been formed as a partnership between the National Association of Fire Investigators NAFI and the Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program, Eastern Kentucky University to complete research into the development of fire patterns on exposed surfaces and transfer that information to those that attended seminars and other educational programs sponsored by the two entities. The purpose of this paper is to describe the results of the full scale test burns that were conducted at Eastern Kentucky University and sponsored by the Advanced Fire Pattern Project.
A series of ten full scale tests over a three year span were conducted in identically constructed, finished and furnished compartments. In each of the tests with one exception all fires progressed to full room involvement. Additionally, a full scale test was completed on a specially constructed and furnished room to assist in studying fire growth and spread and the resulting pattern formation in comparison to the fire patterns that were witnessed in a compartment of an actual compartment fire in which there had been a fatality.
These full scale test burns provided a considerable amount of data concerning fire pattern development and evolution during fire growth and spread. Specifically, these test burns demonstrated fire pattern persistence and predictability during pre and post full room involvement fires. The full scale tests demonstrated that the fire patterns described in current literature are correct and when used properly can assist in the determination of the origin of a fire.
The last and one of the most significant items was that if properly conducted, a post fire testing utilizing full scale burns and computer fire modeling may assist in the understanding of fire pattern development and fire growth. This research project is a continuation of a previous study Hicks, et al. The current study continued this fire patterns research by burning ten commercially available polyurethane PU foam chairs and documenting the fire patterns.
The reproducibility of fire patterns was analyzed to compare one PU foam chair test to the next, as well as in association to those produced by burning wood cribs. Two aspects of fire pattern production were examined. The first aspect focuses on the reproducibility of a conical shaped fire pattern formed on standard gypsum wallboard surfaces.
Second, this study analyzed the effects of the upper layer and its role in the production of a conical shaped fire pattern. This study showed that although the time to reach the fire pattern differed, a duplicate fire pattern was reproduced from a similar loss of mass. The results of this study illustrates that similar fuel packages will reproduce a similar conical shaped fire pattern. Additionally, lowering of the upper layer was found to affect the resulting conical shaped fire pattern.
A subsequent aspect of this research is the implication that these patterns can be utilized by fire investigators in determining an area of origin. In modern fire incident analysis and the litigations that frequently follow from them, it is often of great importance to know whether a particular smoke alarm operated during a fire event. Like so many other issues involving the interpretation of fire analysis data, some scientifically verifiable means of determining if a given smoke alarm had activated properly was needed. Best would be some identifiable physical evidence of smoke alarm activation.
As early as , it had been put forward that the presence of enhanced soot patterns on fire event exposed smoke alarms was a useable method of determining that a particular smoke alarm had or had not properly activated. Mother Superior Aldegon, who led the Sisters who taught in the Catholic school, sounded a fire alarm and began the routine fire drill procedure.
This procedure should have led to the children and teachers leaving the building through the stairways to and out of a rear exit. However, as smoke thickened and the fire came closer, they ran for the front door instead, and became jammed in the vestibule. The fire broke through to the vestibule from directly under the front entrance and the vestibule, now crowded with pupils, was enveloped in flames.
The fire rapidly swept through the three-story brick and wooden building, fully engulfing it in less than five minutes. With their exit blocked, many of the children escaped through first-floor windows or jumped from those on the second and third floors. Not all were able to escape, however; the bodies of the 21 victims were found after the fire subsided, huddled together and burned beyond recognition, on the inside of the school entrance.
The Sisters of Notre Dame who taught at St. These actions were credited in saving many lives. Two of the nuns were injured, one suffering serious burns; however, none of the adults were killed. As a result of this fire, Peabody became the first city to pass a law that said all doors in public buildings and school must push out. Matthew E. Benfer, Daniel T. Gottuk Hughes Associates Inc.