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Fire Fighting Tactics Under Wind Driven Fire Conditions: 7-Story Building Experiments.



Daniel M. Madrzykowski, Stephen Kerber


A series of 14 experiments was conducted in 7-story building to evaluate the ability of positive pressure ventilation fans, wind control devices and floor below nozzles to mitigate the hazards of a wind driven fire in a structure. Each experiment started with an apartment fire that was intensified by a natural or mechanical wind. Each of the tools was evaluated individually as well and in conjunction with each other to assess the benefit to fire fighters operating, as well as potential occupants in the structure. The results of the experiments provide a baseline for the thermal hazard associated with a wind driven fire and the impact of pressure, ventilation and flow paths within a structure. Wind created conditions that rapidly caused conditions in the structure to deteriorate by forcing fire gases through the apartment of origin and into the public corridor and stairwell. These conditions would be untenable for advancing fire fighters. Each of the tools was able to reduce the thermal hazard created by the wind driven fire and multiple tools used in conjunction were very effective at improving conditions for fire fighter operations and occupant egress. These experiments validate the potential benefit of each of these tools and their ability to enhance the capabilities and safety of the fire service.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1629
Report Number


fire fighting tactics, fire suppression, full scale fire experiments, high rise buildings, hose streams, structure fire, wind driven fire, wind control


Madrzykowski, D. and Kerber, S. (2009), Fire Fighting Tactics Under Wind Driven Fire Conditions: 7-Story Building Experiments., Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created April 1, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017