Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Modeling Fire Growth and Spread in Houses. (Abstract/Presentation/Visuals)



Kevin B. McGrattan


In cooperation with the fire protection engineering community, a numerical fire model, Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), is being developed at NIST to study fire behavior and to evaluate the performance of fire protection systems in buildings. Version 1 of FDS was publicly released in February 2000, and Version 2 in December 2001. To date, about half of the applications of the model have been for design of smoke handling systems and sprinkler/detector activation studies. The other half consist of residential and industrial fire reconstructions. Throughout its early development, FDS had been aimed primarily at the first set of applications, but following the initial release it became clear that some improvements to the fundamental algorithms were needed to address the second set of applications. The two most obvious needs were for better combustion and radiation models to handle large, spreading fires in relatively small spaces like residences as opposed to industrial settings.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 998
Report Number


fire growth, fire spread, home fires


McGrattan, K. (2003), Modeling Fire Growth and Spread in Houses. (Abstract/Presentation/Visuals), Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed July 24, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created December 1, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017