Fire testing may have started some 2.5 million years ago when one of our ancestors stuck his hand into the first flame and “scientifically” determined that the temperature was too hot to bear. Since that primitive beginning, humans have been on an unending quest to understand, measure and exploit the behavior of fire—and most importantly, to improve our ability to protect life and property from its ravages. Fire testing at NIST, a staple of the agency’s research since the early 1900s, has helped provide much of the data, insights and knowledge demanded by that pursuit. Research has run covered everything from fire safety engineering and fire fighting to fire investigation and fire testing to fire data management and intentional burning.
Trial by Fire: A Look at NIST Fire Testing Through the Years (photo essay)
From NIST's first fire test in 1928 when researchers burned down two condemned buildings in Washington, D.C., to research into the safety of firefighter equipment and the burning of Christmas trees, NIST's fire research has had a significant impact on our daily lives and safety. Check out some of the highlights from NIST's long history of fire research in our new photo essay. (A preview of what you'll find is below.)
How NIST Captures Great Fire Video Footage
At the National Fire Research Laboratory at NIST, fire researchers and engineers have come up with very creative and innovative ways of capturing great fire video footage.