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.

Smoke Toxicity Data for Fire Hazard and Risk Assessment of Cable Products



Richard Gann, Richard D. Peacock, Jason D. Averill, Marc R. Nyden


This report presents the methodology for and results from a series of room-scale fire tests to produce data on the yields of toxic products in both pre-flashover and post-flashover fires. Trays of common household electric cable 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) were not found; concentrations below the detection limits were shown to be of limited toxicological importance relative to the detected toxicants. The uncertainties in the post-flashover data are smaller due to the higher species concentrations and the more fully established upper layer from which the fire effluent was sampled. The uncertainty values are comparable to those estimated for the fractional effective dose calculations used to determine the time available for escape from a fire. The uncertainty in the yield data is sufficiently small to determine whether a bench-scale apparatus is producing results that are similar to or different from the real-scale results here. The use of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was shown to be a useful tool for obtaining concentration data of toxicants. However, its operation and interpretation is far from routine. The CO yield was slightly lower than the expected value of 0.2, which should be used in hazard and risk analyses. The accuracy of the results is verified, and a hypothesis is offered for the lower CO yield values.
To Be Determined


cable, fire, fire hazard, fire risk, room fire tests, smoke, toxicity


Gann, R. , Peacock, R. , Averill, J. and Nyden, M. (2017), Smoke Toxicity Data for Fire Hazard and Risk Assessment of Cable Products, To Be Determined (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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

Created February 19, 2017