Sprinklers shown effective in slowing dorm fires
An automatic sprinkler system significantly increases a persons chances of surviving a dormitory fire, according to a report issued recently by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Three NIST experiments,* supported by a U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) initiative for fire safety in college housing, compared the hazards of fires in smoke detector-equipped dormitories with and without fire sprinklers in the room of fire origin. Researchers started fires in a day room or lounge area open to the corridor of a dormitory. They used the temperature of 120 degrees C (248 degrees F) as the cutoff mark for human survival. For comparison, the temperature of boiling water is 100 degrees C.
In two experiments without sprinklers, potentially fatal temperatures exceeding 120 degrees C as well as toxic gases reached a remote corridor 22.9 meters (75 feet) away within three minutes and completely spread throughout the corridor within another three minutes. In an experiment with sprinklers, temperatures at the 1.5 meter (five feet) level and below in the room where the fire began never exceeded 120 degrees C. No significant increase in heat was measured in the corridor during the experiment, allowing adequate time for residents to escape.
NIST conducted the experiments at a barracks donated by the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The USFA incorporated footage of NIST sprinkler tests into a fire safety video for college administrators and students.
All latest news from the category: Architecture and Construction
Detecting pathogens faster and more accurately by melting DNA
A new analysis method can detect pathogens in blood samples faster and more accurately than blood cultures, which are the current state of the art for infection diagnosis. The new…
Black hole at center of the Milky Way resembles a football
Researchers revealed that the black hole’s spinning speed could provide an ‘incredibly powerful kick’ to surrounding matter. The supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way is spinning…
High resolution techniques reveal clues in 3.5 billion-year-old biomass
Research team analyses organic material from the early Earth tracing its origin and composition. To learn about the first organisms on our planet, researchers have to analyse the rocks of…