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Standards and Codes: Innovative Fire Protection

Technical Committees and Standards Activities

Innovative Fire Protection

EL staff are active in sharing the results of their research in national and international fire safety standards and codes organizations. Their activities parallel the program elements that support measurement science for innovative fire protection: advanced fire service technologies, fire spread within buildings and structures, and fire spread through communities including at the wildland/ urban interface (WUI).

Mr. Daniel Madrzykowski has been the Chair of the NFPA Research Section for the past four years. In this role he has been effective in transferring NIST fire research technology, by assisting with the development of the research program for the NFPA's World Safety Conferences.

Dr. Anthony Hamins represents BFRL on the CIB Working Commission on Fire, W014. He also serves on the Research Advisory Committee for the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF). The FPRF responds to the needs of the NFPA for technical information that supports standards development.

Dr. William Grosshandler chairs the International Forum of Fire Research Directors (FORUM), which aims to reduce the burden of fire (including the loss of life and property, and effects of fire on the environment and heritage) through international cooperation on fire measurements, standards, and related research activities. In his capacity as a member of the Science Advisory Committee of the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), Dr. Grosshandler provides a link between the measurement science and standard test methods being developed at NIST and the Executive Committee of NASFM, an organization that represents the nation's top fire safety officials at the state level.

Dr. Grosshandler serves on the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., (UL) Fire Council, which advises UL on safety requirements for fire suppression equipment, fire resistant building designs, flame and smoke characteristics of building materials and other products related to fire safety. Fire Council Members may be involved in the UL Standards development process, reviewing proposals for new and revised Standards and new product reports.

Dr. Matthew Bundy represents BFRL as an associate member of the North American Fire Testing Laboratory (NAFTL) Consortium. The purpose of the NAFTL Consortium is to provide a forum for the exchange of technical information, conduct studies, and develop industry consensus positions relating to the full range of standard fire tests, e.g., reaction to fire, fire suppression, fire resistance and fire detection.

Advanced Fire Service Technologies Dr. Francine Amon is a member of and active participant in NFPA Technical Committee FAE-ELS on Electronic Safety Equipment, for which she has provided performance metrics and test methods for measuring image quality of thermal imagers for NFPA 1801 Standard on Thermal Imagers for the Fire Service. She has also contributed to NFPA 1800 Standard on Electronic Safety Equipment for Emergency Services and NFPA 1982 Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS).

Dr. Amon is a member of the ASTM Subcommittee E07.10, Emerging NDT Methods. This subcommittee is developing a test to evaluate the performance of infrared temperature measurement devices. This test method (ASTM E1543) gives an objective measure of the temperature sensitivity of a thermal imaging system (relative to a standard reference filter) exclusive of a monitor, with emphasis on the detector(s) and preamplifier. Dr. Amon is also a member of the ASTM Subcommittee E20.02, Radiation Thermometry.

Mr. Nelson Bryner is a member of NFPA Technical Committee on Electronic Safety Equipment. He has been working with this committee on the development of new performance metrics for thermal imagers, which have been incorporated into NFPA 1801 Standard on Thermal Imagers for the Fire Service. He has also worked with this committee on a new umbrella standard for all electronic safety equipment used by the fire service and on the existing NFPA 1982, Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS).

Mr. Bryner is a member of the ASTM Subcommittee E54.08, Operational Equipment. This subcommittee is developing methods to evaluate the performance of radio communication links used in Urban Search and Rescue Robots, WK 14437. Mr. Bryner is also a member of ASTM Subcommittee E54.04, Personal Protective Equipment. This subcommittee is working on standards for fire fighter respirators, protective clothing using reactive cooling, and fire fighter locator technologies including radio frequency identification.

Mr. Daniel Madrzykowski is the Chair of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) Engineering Committee. The committee provides input and technical review for the IAAI Journal and the IAAI web-based training site, Mr. Madrzykowski has assisted with the development of several CFI Trainer programs. He is also a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Investigations. He works with the committee to utilize NIST measurement science results for the advancement of fire investigation technology and methodology.

In 2008, Mr. Madrzykowski joined the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Service Training. Live fire training is an essential part of developing a fire fighting team. The focus of NIST's effort is to assist the committee on improving the effectiveness and safety of live fire training, using results from real scale fire experiments and NIST developed computer-based fire models.

Fire Spread within Structures Mr. Jason Averill and Mr. Richard Peacock serve on the NFPA Technical Committee on Means of Egress. The committee is responsible for the egress provisions in the NPFA Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, and the NFPA Building Construction and Safety Code, NFPA 5000. These standards are the primary conduits for activities related to results of the NIST Investigation of the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001.

Mr. Averill is a member of a task group formed within the ASME/ANSI A17.1-2007. The objective of the task group is to perform a hazard analysis outlining the requirements for use of elevators during emergencies (including fires) by occupants for evacuation and by emergency responders for firefighting and rescue operations. Mr. Averill has led analyses covering the design of elevator controllers for emergency operation and requirements for elevator lobby enclosures.

Mr. Averill is a voting member of the ICC International Building Code Means of Egress Committee, which considers code change proposals primarily to Chapters 10 and 11 of the International Building Code, which relate to egress and access provisions for new construction. Work is underway to ensure that code change proposals reflect the most advanced research findings in egress and occupant safety.

Dr. Richard G. Gann is an active member of ASTM E5.15 on Furnishings and Contents and E5.21 on Smoke and Combustion Products. The NIST role is guiding the development of standards that lead to reduced ignitions and uniform characterization of the mass and nature of combustion products from fires. Dr. Gann chairs Task Group E5.15.09 on Cigarette Ignition Propensity, where he is the principal author of ASTM E 2187 Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes. Thirty-seven states, Canada, Australia, and Finland have adopted regulations based on this standard, with the European Union underway. Preliminary data from New York State indicate a significant reduction in fire deaths due to this Standard. Dr. Gann also chairs E5.21.50, where he is the principal author of ASTM E1678, Standard Test Method for Measuring Smoke Toxic Potency for Use in Fire Hazard Analysis. This and the companion document, NFPA 269, are the only U.S. standards that provide a basis for including the effects of fire effluent in engineered fire safety.

Dr. Gann chairs the NFPA Toxicity Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC), which provides authoritative advice to the NFPA Standards Council on toxicity-related issues arising from code committee deliberations. The TTAC thus promotes consistency in the way provisions in the various NFPA fire and building codes address human tenability in fires, providing a uniform basis for specification and acceptance of construction and furnishing products.

Dr. Gann sees U.S. participation in the ISO TC92 Committee on Fire Safety as the key to minimizing the potential for U.S. manufacturers to face unsound and prohibitive fire standards in international markets. TC92 is also the forum where the relatively few experts in the broad reach of fire science and technology pool their expertise to develop standards for reducing ignitions, keeping fires small, and reducing the harmful effects of heat and smoke.

Dr. Gann chairs and has revitalized TC92 SC3, Fire Threat to People and the Environment. During the eight years of his leadership, the subcommittee has increased the number of published standards from one to nine, with eight more under development. Combined, these documents provide the technical basis for incorporating human tenability in fire safety engineering. Dr. Gann is also active in SC4, Fire Safety Engineering, and in SC1, Fire Initiation and Growth. He is an Assigned U.S. Expert to SC4 Working Groups on general principles for fire safety engineering, input data for fire safety engineering, and fire risk. He also chairs the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to SC4, the group that develops the U.S. positions on ballots from this subcommittee. Dr. Gann is a Project Leader in SC1, leading development of ISO Standards that mirror the U.S. standards for less fire-prone cigarettes and low heat release mattresses. Broadening the realm of these methodologies will enhance the likelihood that the increased fire safety of U.S. products will be reinforced by imported products and increase the openness of markets for U.S. products. Dr. Gann also sits on the Technical Program Management Board of ISO TC92.

Dr. Rick Davis is a member of ASTM E5.15 on Furnishings and Contents. The NIST role is guiding the development of standards that lead to reduced ignitions and uniform characterization of the mass and nature of combustion products from fires.

Dr. Nathan D. Marsh is an active participant in ISO 92/SC3 and SC4. His focus is on the several documents involving the generation and measurement of chemical species that affect human tenability in fires and the environmental effects of fires.

Dr. Jiann C. Yang is a principal voting member of the NFPA-2 Technical Committee on Hydrogen Technologies. He currently serves on the Committee Task Group 10 on Explosion. The Group is tasked to review the draft of Explosion Protection Provisions in NFPA-2. Dr. Yang is also a principal voting member of the NFPA- 2001 Technical Committee on Gaseous Fire Extinguishing Systems. Dr. Greg Linteris is technical advisor to this committee.

Mr. Thomas Cleary is a member of UL 1994 STP Luminous Egress Path Marking Systems and has been reviewing proposals for revisions to the 3rd edition of the standard. Mr. Cleary is also assisting UL 217/268 on Smoke Detectors and Alarms as a technical expert. He is a member of a task group working on nuisance alarms which formulated a report urging nuisance alarm testing of residential smoke alarms to be used near cooking appliances. Mr. Cleary, as a member of NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code 11 SIG HOU, led a task group focused on combination photo/ion smoke alarm sensitivity and performance. He is also a member of NFPA 76 Standard for the Fire Protection of Telecommunications Facilities.

Mr. Richard Peacock serves as a member of ASTM E05.33 on Fire Safety Engineering. This subcommittee is responsible for development of standards for the evaluation and documentation of predictive fire models. BFRL has been key in the development of ASTM E 1355, Standard Guide for Evaluating the Predictive Capability of Deterministic Fire Models.

Dr. Paul Fuss participates as a member of ASTM E05 and participates in Subcommittee ASTM E.05.33, Fire Safety Engineering, which is developing standards related to obtaining data and determining predictive capability for fire models. He is also a member of Subcommittees E.05.13, Large Scale Fire Tests, and E.05.32 on Research.

Dr. Kevin McGrattan is a member of two SFPE Technical Working Groups, the SFPE Standards Making Committee on Predicting the Thermal Performance of Fire Resistive Assemblies and the SFPE Task Group on Substantiating a Computer Model as being Appropriate for a Given Application. The former is drafting a standard on the thermal resistance of structures, and the latter is drafting a guide on the appropriate uses of fire models. Both are expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

Mr. Richard Peacock represents NIST on NFPA 130 and ASTM E05.17 developing standards for fire safety in passenger rail vehicles. Mr. Peacock is working with the Federal Transit Administration and the National Association of State Fire Marshals to update the FTA Recommended Fire Safety Practices for Rail Transit Materials Selection Manual. These recommendations represent an upgrade of guidelines, including Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Recommended Fire Safety Practices for Rail Transit Materials Selection published in the Federal Register in 1984.

Fire Spread through Communities Dr. Samuel L. Manzello is a voting member of ASTM E05.14 Subcommittee on External Fire Exposures. New standards are being developed, aimed at mitigating firebrand penetration into building vents. Dr. Manzello is leading the development of a testing protocol for vents standards through full scale testing.

Dr. William Mell and Mr. Alex Maranghides are members of NFPA Technical Committee on Forest and Rural Fire Protection. This committee has primary responsibility for documents on fire protection for rural, suburban, forest, grass, brush, and tundra areas. A recent result is NFPA 1144, Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire, 2008 Edition.

Created January 30, 2010, Updated November 17, 2011