On Oct. 2, 2007, S. Shyam Sunder, director of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), testified before the Subcommitte on Technology and Innovation of the House Science and Technology Committee on NIST's fire research program.
Fires, Sunder said, remain a serious national problem. Each year, more than 3,000 people die in fires and per capita fire deaths are 70 percent higher in the United States than in the European Union. NIST's long-standing fire research program is focused on reducing losses and risk by advancing innovative fire protection technologies, increasing the safety of buildings threatened by fire, and better understanding the process of building fires. New building materials, construction practices and building designs all potentially can affect fire safety and the time available for safely exiting buildings. In addition to improving fire safety in buildings, NIST research provides the science and performance measures that are critical for developing and implementing the new technologies necessary to improve the effectiveness and safety of emergency responders. Follow this link to read Sunder's testimony.
For some recent stories on NIST fire research, see "NIST Test Fans the Flames for High-Rise Fire Safety", "NIST Begins Technical Study of S.C. Warehouse Fire", "Fire Tests Examine Structural Collapse Hazards and Warning Devices" and "NIST Firebrand Device Could Save U.S. and Japanese Homes."