Practical aspects of fire suppression and fire-hoseline interactions are studied through joint research and training exercises with municipal and naval fire fighter personnel. Tests have been performed in abandoned houses to study residential sprinkler effectiveness. The effects of different suppression agents and hose strategies (i.e. wide vs. narrow angle, direct vs. reflected application) on the thermal environment during suppression of enclosure fires has been studied in the University of Waterloo Live Fire Research Facility, as well as in field fire experiments. Through full-scale research in realistic operating conditions, training modules are delivered directly back to fire service personnel demonstrating key elements of suppression methodologies and facilitating better explanations of the complex interactions between their suppression activities and the thermal environment in a burning structure.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the fire suppression studies to date was to hear back from a young fire fighter that, while in the midst of fighting a devastating town house fire, he recalled our research debriefing on wide vs. narrow angle fog suppression and acted to minimize the chance of steam build-up while still effectively suppressing the fire!

The Fire Research Group plans to continue research on different suppression agents and methodologies, fire sprinkler and detection systems, and positive pressure ventilation strategies for fire control.

Publications

Fire service research and training