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Flammability Reduction Group

The Flammability Reduction Group develops, advances, and deploys measurement science to reduce fire hazard of building contents and construction materials. Carries out mission-related measurement science research and services to reduce material ignition probability, fire growth and spread, and environmental impacts; and develop codes and standards for cost-effective, fire-safe building contents and construction materials.

Staff Spotlight

January 26, 2021

Welcome Dr. Andrew Maizel and Mr. Mike Heck to the Flammability Reduction Group within the Fire Research Division (FRD) as Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) researchers.

Dr. Andrew Maizel

Dr. Andrew Maizel  - Andrew obtained a PhD from the Remucal Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied the environmental transport and fate of natural organic matter.  Andrew comes to NIST following a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at the Colorado School of Mines, where he researched the environmental mobility of PFASs released by the use of aqueous film-forming foams used as hydrocarbon fire suppressants. Over the next 3 years, Andrew’s focus will be on the identity and concentration of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in firefighter gear and present at fire scenes. This will include developing analytical methods for the extraction of PFASs from firefighting textiles and using high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify novel PFASs. 

Andrew moved a bit growing up and has lived in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Germany, England, California, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Washington State. He attended Beverly Hills High School and can give you the scoop on any of your favorite 90210 characters! Andrew is looking forward to meeting everyone when NIST opens up again! He enjoys the outdoors and can’t wait until the climbing gyms reopen and his two-year old is big enough for his own harness.

Mr. Mike Heck

Mr. Mike Heck - Mike has joined NIST after completing his MS degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland.  At UMD he studied the effects of wind and slope on wildland fire flame spread.  Mike was brought to the FRD to lead the design, construction, and operation of fire testing equipment of varying scales and product applications.  He is currently working on full-scale vertical fire spread tests to be used as inputs and validations in computational fire spread models.  Additionally, Mike will be managing the FRD’s cone calorimeter facility.

Mike is originally from the eastern shore of Maryland.  He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hiking, camping, mountain biking, snowboarding, fly fishing, and hunting. Mike also enjoys spending time with his large family and can trace his family lineage in the US to prior to the Revolutionary War.



Flammability Reduction Group provides virtual seminar on Reducing the Fire Risk of Residential Upholstered Furniture Fires as part of SFPE Member Series

May 24, 2021

On May 24 at 11 AM EST, Dr. Mauro Zammarano delivered a virtual seminar highlighting key outcomes of the Low Heat Release Upholstered Furniture Project…

News and Updates

Remembering Randy Shields

John “Randy” Shields, a physical scientist in the Flammability Reduction Group of EL’s Fire Research Division, died suddenly of a heart attack on June 27, 2020

Spotlight: Laura Dubrulle

Closing down a highway of fire: NIST guest researcher Laura Dubrulle wants to keep your fence from going up in flames and taking your home with it. With small

Interflam 2019

Six members of the NIST Fire Research Division (including three current or former members of the Flammability Reduction Group) recently traveled to the Royal

Projects and Programs

Engineered Fire Safe Products

This project will conduct research to support the use of lightweight (wood, plastics, and composites)-engineered fire safe products (L-EFSP) with long fire


Estimating the Impact of 16 CFR Part 1633 on Bed Fire Outcomes

Stanley W. Gilbert, David T. Butry, Richard G. Gann, Rick D. Davis
Effective July 1, 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission promulgated a Standard that would severely reduce the heat release rate and the early heat



The Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport, CFAST, is a computer program that fire investigators, safety officials, engineers, architects and builders

FDS and Smokeview

Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of fire-driven fluid flow. The software solves numerically a form of the Navier

Tools and Instruments

Cone Calorimeter

In the late 1970s and early 1980s the fire community was pushing for reliable bench-scale tools to measure material flammability based on heat release rate. A

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