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Sprinkler Fire Suppression Algorithm for the GSA Engineering Fire Assessment System (NISTIR 4833)



Daniel M. Madrzykowski, R Vettori


A study was conducted to develop a sprinkler fire suppression algorithm for use with sprinkler activation time models. Large scale experiments were performed to determine the heat release rate (HRR) of selected office fuel packages with and without sprinklers operating. Eight different fuel packages were evaluated. The results from these experiments were used to develop a time dependent HRR reduction factor. The sprinkler fire suppression algoithm consists of multiplying the HRR reduction factor by the HRR at the time of sprinkler activation yielding an expected upper bound to the HRR at a given time after sprinkler activation, Q(t), for office furnishing fires that are not heavily shielded. This sprinkler fire suppression algorithm can be thought of as a "zeroth order" fire suppression model for "light hazard" occupancies with a sprinkler spray density of 0.07 mm/s (0.1 gpm/ft2) or greater.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 4833
Report Number


sprinklers, fire suppression, crib fires, fire tests, fuel load, free burning fires, heat release rate, sprinkler activation


Madrzykowski, D. and Vettori, R. (1992), Sprinkler Fire Suppression Algorithm for the GSA Engineering Fire Assessment System (NISTIR 4833), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created May 1, 1992, Updated November 10, 2018