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Exposing Fencing Assemblies to Firebrand Showers Characteristic of Burning Structures



Samuel L. Manzello, Sayaka Suzuki, Ichiro Hagiwara


Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fires have devastated communities on multiple continents. Large outdoor fires in Japan mainly occur due to post-earthquake fires, which may result in severe urban fire spread. Once structures are ignited in these fires, firebrand production from structures becomes a key factor in fire spread. The authors are constructing a database of firebrand production from burning structures, as there is a little quantifiable data available in the literature. Based on post-fire disaster investigations, fencing assemblies are known to be prone to ignition in WUI fires, and may provide pathways to structure ignition. In this work, a comparison of ignition results from full-scale fencing assembly experiments conducted using the Building Research Institute’s (BRI) full-scale wind tunnel facility, to mock-ups of full-scale fencing assemblies using the recently developed experimental capability at the National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster (NRIFD) are discussed. In both experimental facilities, the fencing assemblies were exposed to firebrand showers using custom built continuous-feed firebrand generators with size and mass distributions similar to the structure firebrand database mentioned above. The purpose was to determine if similar fencing ignition vulnerabilities were observed for reduced sized experiments. These results are required to guide the necessary configurations of fencing assembly mock-ups that can potentially be used in standard laboratory test methods. The results of this study will be presented.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 2017 Fire and Materials Conference
Conference Dates
February 6-8, 2017
Conference Location
San Francisco, CA
Conference Title
2017 Fire and Materials Conference


WUI Fires, Firebrands
Created February 6, 2017, Updated July 18, 2017