Fire Suppression Effectiveness of Hose Streams

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USFA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are conducting research to determine the effectiveness of different methods of applying water on a fire. Determining the effectiveness of a range of water application methods could have impact on the tactical decisions, equipment choices, and water supply requirements that affect fire departments across the country. A better understanding of the capabilities of different water application methods could also impact ISO ratings and firefighter health and safety.

The three phases of this project will examine methods including straight stream, fog, and Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFS). The effectiveness will be examined on open burning fires as well as on structure fires. This project will also examine drop size and velocity data not developed previously that is needed for further development of the Fire Dynamic Simulator (FDS) to enhance its usefulness and realism to benefit the fire service and allow for further study of fire suppression mechanisms.

Almost all of the Phase II full scale fire suppression experiments using fog and smooth bore nozzles have been conducted and completed. Measurements similar to the Phase I experiments conducted in previous years, including water flowrate, temperatures in the enclosure, air flow in and out of the enclosure, mass loss rate of the pallets, and heat flux, were taken. The development of draft reports that document the analysis of the data from all the project’s experiments are near completion. Phase III of this project has already begun during which the suppression results from Phase I and Phase II will be integrated into a predictive suppression sub-model that could be used with a fire model, such as NIST's FDS.