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Understanding the Hazards of Grouped Electrical Cables



Kevin B. McGrattan, Andrew J. Lock, Marc R. Nyden, Jason Dreisbach, Nathan D. Marsh, David Stroup


CHRISTIFIRE (Cable Heat Release, Ignition, and Spread in Tray Installations during FIRE) is a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of Research program to quantify the mass and energy released from burning electrical cables. This type of quantitative information will be used to develop more realistic models of cable fires for use in fire probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) analyses. The experimental program has two main thrusts—bench-scale measurements of small samples of burning cables and full-scale measurements of the heat release and fire-spread rates of cables burning within typical ladder-type trays. The bench-scale measurements include micro-calorimetry of cable components, effluent characterization using absorption spectroscopy, and measurements of the heat release rate using a cone calorimeter. The full-scale measurements include the burning of a variety of cables within a typical tray under radiant panel heating, and full-scale, multiple tray fires. The outcome of the experiments is to be used by a variety of fire models, ranging from simple correlations to computational fluid dynamics.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the International Fire Prevention Symposium (Interschutz), Leipzig, Germany
Conference Dates
June 7-9, 2010
Conference Location
Conference Title
Interschutz -- International Exhibition for Rescue, Fire Prevention, Disaster Relief, Safety, Security


Electrical cables, Fire experiments


McGrattan, K. , Lock, A. , Nyden, M. , Dreisbach, J. , Marsh, N. and Stroup, D. (2010), Understanding the Hazards of Grouped Electrical Cables, Proceedings of the International Fire Prevention Symposium (Interschutz), Leipzig, Germany, Leipzig, -1, [online], (Accessed March 4, 2024)
Created June 7, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017