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Title:Occupant Tenability in Single Family Homes: Part I—Impact of Structure Type, Fire Location and Interior Doors Prior to Fire Department Arrival
Author(s):Traina, Nicholas; Horn, Gavin P.; Kerber, Stephen; Kyritsis, Dimitrios C.
Subject(s):Firefighting operations
Life safety
Firefighting research
Single-family dwellings
Toxic gases
Abstract:This paper describes an experimental investigation of the impact of structure geometry, fire location, and closed interior doors on occupant tenability in typical single family house geometries using common fuels from twenty-first century fires. Two houses were constructed inside a large fire facility; a one-story, 112 m2, 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom house with 8 total rooms, and a two-story 297 m2, 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house with 12 total rooms. Seventeen experiments were conducted with varying fire locations. In all scenarios, two bedrooms had doors remaining open while the door remained closed in a third bedroom immediately adjacent to the open door bedrooms. Temperature and gas measurement at the approximate location of a crawling or crouching trapped occupant (0.9 m from the floor) were utilized with the ISO 13571 fractional effective dose (FED) methodology to characterize occupant tenability up to the point of firefighter intervention. The FED values for the fire room were higher for heat exposure than for toxic gases, while target rooms reached highest FED due to CO/CO2 exposure. The closed interior door decreased FED significantly, with the worst case scenario resulting in a 2% probability of receiving an incapacitating dose compared to the worst case scenario for an open bedroom of 93% probability of receiving an incapacitating dose. In fact, in 7 of the 17 experiments, the closed interior door resulted in a less than 0.1% chance of an occupant receiving an incapacitating dose prior to firefighter ‘intervention.’
Issue Date:2017
Publisher:Fire Technology
Citation Info:Traina, N., Kerber, S., Kyritsis, D.C. et al. Fire Technol (2017) 53: 1589.
Sponsor:Funding was provided by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Grant No. EMW-2010-FP-00661).
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 The Author(s).
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-11-13

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  • IFSI Research
    This collection contains research publications from IFSI Research at the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

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