MCFRS News Release

Fire Dynamics for the Fire Service

National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD
September 3rd, 2008
9 AM to 3:30 PM
Building 101 – RED Auditorium

Over four hundred (400) firefighters from the mid-Atlantic region, including many from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service will be attending this ‘first-ever’ seminar discussing fire dynamics for the fire service on the campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
The presentation will discuss how building geometry, materials, furnishings, ventilation and firefighting tactics can influence fire growth and spread leading to untenable conditions for firefighters.  Nationally recognized experts will describe fire behavior using a combination of videos and data.  Experts will characterize the thermal environment that firefighters may be exposed to in order to improve their safety by increasing knowledge of fire behavior. 

Firefighters understand that fire behavior or fire dynamics is based on the fundamental relationship between fuel, oxygen and heat, i.e. the fire triangle.  Some of the things to be discussed are how the type of fuel, the location of fuel in the room, the geometry of the fuel, building construction and ventilation can have a significant effect on the speed of fire growth and spread.  Firefighters know ventilating the structure fire can provide cooling by removing heat.  But ventilating a “fuel rich” room may cause a flashover, by allowing fresh air into the structure.  It is important for everyone to remember that smoke is fuel. Scientists will show that ventilation does not equal cooling.  It is hoped that trough discussion and various presentations that an increased understanding of ventilation will lead to improved tactical firefighting decisions, such as when to use positive pressure ventilation.

Local media representatives are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Not only will there be several opportunities to talk to fire chiefs, firefighters and fire protection engineers and other safety advocates you may better understand firefighting terms such as temperature, heat, heat release rate, heat transfer, and heat flux and how these relate to the fire environment and fire fighter safety.
In addition you will have an opportunity to develop an improved understanding for what the conditions are in a room and contents fire, what a flashover is and what conditions favor a flashover and furthermore develop an understanding of the impact of interior finish, building construction and ventilation on fire conditions, via incident case study.
It is guaranteed that you will greatly increase your personal and professional knowledge of fire behavior.

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