Fire

  • Infrastructure protectionExamining fire safety concerns raised by green buildings

    In 2012, the “Fire Safety Challenges of Green Buildings” report assembled a list of seventy-eight green building features and construction elements that could have implications for fire safety. The authors then derived a list of potential hazards associated with the features and elements, including greater flammability, faster burn rate, and increased hindrance to firefighters, as compared with conventional construction. A 3-year project, funded with a $1 million grant from DHS, will enable the further exploration of some of the potential risks and hazards identified in the 2012 report.

  • First respondersKnow when to go: a new way to keep firefighters safe from harm

    By Philip Dennison, Tom Cova, and Greg Fryer

    For a firefighter, knowing when it’s time to evacuate can be the difference between life and death. But that can be a difficult call to make when you’re trying to protect life, property and resources while battling wildfires in arduous weather and terrain. Whether working at the fire’s edge or creating a fire break far from the front, firefighters must maintain situational awareness and monitor impending threats to their safety. When firefighters are unable to properly recognize risks, or they underestimate conditions, the results can be tragic.

  • First response“Live burns” to benefit research and firefighter training

    See video

    Fire researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and colleagues from fire service organizations will turn abandoned wood-frame, single-family houses near the site of an old Spartanburg, South Carolina, textile mill into proving and training grounds for new science-driven fire-fighting techniques. The objective of the study is to improve firefighter safety and effectiveness.

  • Fire fightingUsing cold plasma to fight fires

    Traditional fire-suppression technologies focus largely on disrupting the chemical reactions involved in combustion; from a physics perspective, however, flames are cold plasmas; DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, theorized that by using physics techniques rather than combustion chemistry, it might be possible to manipulate and extinguish flames

  • First responseFDNY conducts live fire tests to test improvements in fire department tactics

    In the name of science, but with aim of saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing property losses, members of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) spent much of the first two weeks in July setting fire to twenty abandoned townhouses on Governors Island, about a kilometer from the southern tip of Manhattan

  • DisastersSome flame retardants make fires more lethal

    Almost 10,000 deaths from fires occur in industrialized countries worldwide each year, including about 3,500 in the United States; scientists find that widely used flame retardants added to carpets, furniture upholstery, plastics, crib mattresses, car, and airline seats and other products to suppress the visible flames in fires are actually increasing the danger of invisible toxic gases that are the No. 1 cause of death in fires

  • Fire regulationsN.Y. senator pushes to streamline industrial fire regulations

    Last week Senator Charles Schumer (D – New York) urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make it easier for first responders to contain industrial fires at chemical facilities by streamlining the agency’s reporting process