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Exposing Wood Decking Assemblies to Continuous Wind-Driven Firebrand Showers



Samuel L. Manzello, Sayaka S. Suzuki


A series of experiments were conducted to determine vulnerabilities of wood decks to continuous, wind-driven firebrand showers. Sections of wood decks (1.2 m by 1.2 m) were constructed and attached to a re-entrant corner assembly. The deck/re-entrant corner assembly was then exposed to continuous, wind-driven firebrand bombardment generated by the newly developed NIST full scale Continuous Feed Firebrand Generator (NIST full scale Continuous Feed Dragon) installed in the Building Research Institute’s (BRI) Fire Research Wind Tunnel Facility (FRWTF). The type of wood decks used, as well as the placement within a reentrant corner assembly, was based on input received from a decking workshop NIST held in California in 2011. Three different wood decks types were exposed to wind-driven firebrand showers at wind speeds of 6 m/s; Cedar, Douglas-Fir, and Redwood. For each wood deck tested, firebrands were observed to accumulate on the deck surface, and due to continual glowing firebrand bombardment, each wood deck type was observed to ignite by flaming ignition. Therefore, wood decks were observed to be vulnerable to ignition from continuous, wind-driven firebrand showers. Results of these experiments are discussed in detail.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1778
Report Number


Firebrands, Ignition, WUI Fires


Manzello, S. and Suzuki, S. (2012), Exposing Wood Decking Assemblies to Continuous Wind-Driven Firebrand Showers, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created December 12, 2012, Updated November 10, 2018