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Understanding Fire and Smoke Flow Through Modeling and Visualization
July/August 2003 (vol. 23 no. 4)
pp. 6-13
Glenn P. Forney, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Daniel Madrzykowski, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Kevin B. McGrattan, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Laurel Sheppard, Lash Publications International

Structural fires cost the US economy more than $100 billion annually in property damage,fire department maintenance,and insurance premiums. A price can't be put on the human toll: each year on average, 4,000 civilians die and 23,000 get injured in fires. Approximately 80 percent of fire deaths occur in homes. Trying to put out these fires costs 80 to 100 fire fighters their lives and 80,000 to 90,000 more are injured every year.

Smoke and toxic gas inhalation cause the majority of fire fatalities. Flashover, occurs when flames erupt and rapidly fill a compartment. Despite fire codes and improved building designs, flashover and smoke spread are still major problems and require a more complete understanding of fire behavior. Fortunately, we can use fire modeling and visualization tools to overcome these problems, ultimately leading to the prevention of smoke and fire spread.

1. Federal Emergency Management Agency, A Profile of Fire in the United States, 1989-1998, 12th ed., US Fire Administration, Nat'l Fire Data Center, Aug. 2001.
2. D. Gross, "Fire Research at NBS: The First 75 Years," 3rd Int'l Symp. Int'l Assoc. Fire Safety Science (IAFSS), G. Cox and B. Langford, eds., Elsevier, 1991, pp. 119-133; http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/fire92art008.html .
3. R. Vettori et al Simulation of the Dynamics of a Fire in a One-Story Restaurant—Texas, February 14, 2000, tech. report, NISTIR 6923, Nat'l Inst. Standards and Technology, 2002.

Citation:
Glenn P. Forney, Daniel Madrzykowski, Kevin B. McGrattan, Laurel Sheppard, "Understanding Fire and Smoke Flow Through Modeling and Visualization," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 6-13, July-Aug. 2003, doi:10.1109/MCG.2003.1210858
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