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Experimental study on vulnerabilities of Japanese style tile roof assemblies to firebrand exposures



Samuel L. Manzello, Sayaka Suzuki


Roof assemblies are known to be vulnerable to firebrands in urban and wildland-urban interface fires. In the 2016 urban fire in Japan (Itoigawa-City Fire), at least 10 structures were ignited by firebrand showers and three of these structures were ignited by firebrand penetration under roof tiles. In this study, the vulnerabilities of Japanese-style roof tile assemblies to firebrand exposures were investigated by using a continuous-feed firebrand generator with applied nominal wind speeds of 6 m/s and 9 m/s. It was observed that Japanese- style roof tile assemblies were more vulnerable than concrete flat, concrete profile, and terracotta flat roof tiles for an applied wind speed of 6 m/s. When the experiments were performed with debris placed underneath the roof tiles, penetrated firebrands ignited debris. Flaming ignition was observed under 9 m/s where flame was observed to protrude from the tiles in an effort to reach necessary oxygen for combustion.
Fire Technology


Firebrands, Roofing Assemblies, Ignition
Created April 18, 2020, Updated April 19, 2020