Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Characteristics of Fire Scenarios in Which Sublethal Effects of Smoke Are Important

Published

Author(s)

Richard D. Peacock, Jason D. Averill, Paul A. Reneke, Walter W. Jones

Abstract

A number of simulations were performed using the CFAST zone fire model to predict the relative times at which smoke inhalation and heat exposure would result in incapacitation. Fires in three building types were modeled: a ranch house, a hotel, and an office building. Gas species yields and rates of heat release for these design fires were derived from a review of real-scale fire test data. The incapacitation equations were taken from draft 14 of ISO document 13571. Sublethal effects of smoke were deemed important when incapacitation from smoke inhalation occurred before harm from thermal effects occurred. Real-scale HCl yield data were incorporated as available; the modeling indicated that the yield would need to be 5 to 10 times higher for incapacitation from HCl to precede incapacitation from narcotic gases, including CO CO2, HCN and reduce O^2^. The results suggest that occupancies in which sublethal effects from open fires could affect escape and survival include multi-room residences, medical facilities, schools, and correctional facilities. In addition, fires originating in concealed spaces in any occupancy pose such a threat. Sublethal effects of smoke are not likely to be of prime concern for open fires in single- or two-compartment occupancies (e.g., small apartments and transportation vehicles) themselves, although sublethal effects may be important in adjacent spaces; buildings with high ceilings and large rooms (e.g., warehouses, mercantile); and occupancies in which fires will be detected promptly and from which escape or rescue will occur within a few minutes.
Citation
Fire Technology
Volume
40
Issue
2

Keywords

fire, incapacitation, lethality, smoke, smoke toxicity

Citation

Peacock, R. , Averill, J. , Reneke, P. and Jones, W. (2004), Characteristics of Fire Scenarios in Which Sublethal Effects of Smoke Are Important, Fire Technology (Accessed May 20, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created April 1, 2004, Updated June 2, 2021