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Modeling Produces Insight into Fire Behavior



Adam M. Barowy, Daniel M. Madrzykowski


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the leader in the development of computer-based fire models that simulate the movement of fire gases and heat through a building and estimate the response of various fire protection systems. NIST has developed different kinds of fire models. Currently, it maintains two: Consolidated Fire and Smoke Transport (CFAST) and the NIST Fire Dynamic Simulator (FDS). CFAST is a “two-zone” model and FDS is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. NIST has developed fire simulations with FDS and Smokeview to assist in the understanding of the fire behavior in line of duty death (LODD) incidents. The fire simulations provide insight into the growth and the spread of fire and hot gases through the structures. As the capabilities of the fire models increase and computational speeds improve, the use of models in training needs to expand in order to aid in the understanding of fire dynamics, particularly the impact of ventilation on a fire and other tactical considerations that will help prevent LODDs in the future.
Fire Rescue Magazine


CFAST, FDS, fire model, fire simulations, Line of Duty Death, ventilation


Barowy, A. and Madrzykowski, D. (2011), Modeling Produces Insight into Fire Behavior, Fire Rescue Magazine (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created November 1, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017