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.

Understanding Fire and Smoke Flow Through Modeling and Visualization



Glenn P. Forney, Daniel M. Madrzykowski, Kevin B. McGrattan, L M. Sheppard


Structural fires cost the American economy more than $100 billion annually in property damage, maintaining fire departments and insurance. A price cannot be put on the human toll: on average each year, 4,000 civilians die and 23,000 are injured in fires. Approximately 80%of fire deaths occur in homes. Trying to put out these fires costs 80 to 100 firefighters their lives and injures 80,000 to 90,000 every year.Despite fire codes and improved designs, flashover and smoke spread are still a major problems and require a complete understanding of fire behavior. Fire modeling and visualization plays an important role in both understanding and preventing smoke and fire spread. Several techniques for modeling and visualizing fire are given. Several examples are presented showing how these techniques have been used to gain a better understanding of fire behavior.
IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications


fire modeling, fire simulation, scientific visualization, simulation, visualization


Forney, G. , Madrzykowski, D. , McGrattan, K. and Sheppard, L. (2003), Understanding Fire and Smoke Flow Through Modeling and Visualization, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, [online], (Accessed February 23, 2024)
Created August 1, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017