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Building and Fire Research Laboratory Activities, Accomplishments, and Recognitions 2003.



Kellie A. Beall, J E. Hill


This is the biennial report for 2002-2003 for the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It describes the goals, programs, recent accomplishments, and recognitions for our staff over these two years. BFRL and its predecessor organizations at NIST (National Bureau of Standards (NBS) before 1988) have a rich history in the building and fire communities dating back 100 years. On February 7, 1904, a fire broke out in the basement of the John E. Hurst and Company in Baltimore, Maryland. Fire services responded from Washington, Philadelphia, and New York; however, each city had its own unique threads for their fire hoses and they could not connect to Baltimore's hydrant system. Those fire services were forced to watch as the fire progressed. Before it was over, the fire had burned for more than 30 hours and destroyed approximately 2,500 buildings in an 80-block area. As a result, NBS began a study of fire hose couplings and over 600 couplings were collected and analyzed from across the country. Based on this research, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) adopted a standard hose coupling and an interchangeable coupling device for non-standard hoses as a national model. That document continues today as NFPA 1963, Standard for Fire Hose Connections.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 838-18
Report Number


building technology, fire research, construction, building materials, fire losses, building performance


Beall, K. and Hill, J. (2004), Building and Fire Research Laboratory Activities, Accomplishments, and Recognitions 2003., Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created February 1, 2004, Updated November 10, 2018