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.

Slide-Rule Estimates of Fire Growth.



James R. Lawson, Jim G. Quintiere


A series of prediction methods have been assembled to provide an analytical basis for estimating fire growth in compartments. Solutions for each prediction method can be made using programmable scientific calculators. Prediction methods are presented for: fire size and growth rates, mass loss rates, radiant heat flux, flame height, radial flame impingement, heat flux to a ceiling, smoke filling of a room, carbon monoxide hazard with smoldering fires, temperature ruse in a compartment, ventilation flow rate, flashover ocurrence, corridor smoke transfer and filling, smoke concentration, visibility, flame spread rates, and fire burn time. These predictive methods are useful for estimating many of the critical elements related to fire behavior and help provide a better understanding of this complex phenomenon. This report appears as Appendix B in Fire Growth in Combat Ships by J.G. Quintiere, H.R. Baum and J.R. Lawson, NBSIR 85-3159.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


calculators, computer programs, fire growth, fire models, room fires, smoke filling


Lawson, J. and Quintiere, J. (1985), Slide-Rule Estimates of Fire Growth., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created June 1, 1985, Updated February 19, 2017