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Fire Effluent Component Yields from Room-scale Fire Tests



Richard G. Gann, Jason D. Averill, Erik L. Johnsson, Marc R. Nyden, Richard D. Peacock


Estimation of the time available for escape (ASET) in the event of a fire is a principal component in fire hazard or risk assessment. Valid data on the yields of toxic smoke components from bench-scale apparatus is essential to accurate ASET calculations. This paper presents the methodology for and pre-flashover and post-flashover toxicant yields from a series of room-scale fire tests. The data are to be used for comparison with bench-scale data for the same combustibles: a sofa, bookcases, PVC sheet, and electric power cable. Each was burned in a room with a long adjacent corridor. The yields of CO2, CO, HCl, HCN, and carbonaceous soot were determined. Other toxicants (e.g., NO2, formaldehyde, and acrolein), whose concentrations were below the detection limits, were of limited importance relative to the detected toxicants. The uncertainty values were comparable to those estimated for calculations used to determine the time available for escape from a fire. The uncertainties in the yield data were sufficiently small to determine whether a bench-scale apparatus is producing results that are similar to the real-scale results here. The use of FTIR spectroscopy was shown to be useful for obtaining toxicant concentration data. However, its operation and interpretation is far from routine. The losses of CO, HCN, and HCl along the corridor were dependent on the combustible.
Fire and Materials


fire, fire research, smoke, room fire tests, fire toxicity, smoke toxicity, toxicity


Gann, R. , Averill, J. , Johnsson, E. , Nyden, M. and Peacock, R. (2010), Fire Effluent Component Yields from Room-scale Fire Tests, Fire and Materials, [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created October 1, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017