An Evaluation of Toxic Hazards from Full-Scale Furnished Room Fire Studies

    Published: Jan 1985

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    Fully furnished and finished 3.7 by 5.5-m (12 by 18-ft) rooms, designed to simulate a typical hotel/motel arrangement, were ignited in identical scenarios and allowed to proceed past flashover. The test facility consisted of the burn room attached perpendicular to the end of a 13.7-m (45-ft) corridor with another room off the corridor 4.9 m (16 ft) from the test room. The second room contained animals for an assessment of both preflashover and flashover toxic effects. The rooms and corridor were fully instrumented with thermocouples, heat flux radiometers, smoke meters, gas sampling trains, and, in the burn room only, smoke detectors and sprinkler heads. In the few minutes prior to visual flashover, the toxic hazard of this fire scenario increased dramatically. At the 1.7-m (5 1/2-ft) level in the burn room, temperature rose to 650°C (1200°F), carbon monoxide (CO) concentration reached 70 000 ppm, oxygen concentration dropped to zero, and the hydrogen cyanide level exceeded 1000 ppm. In the remote room, the animals died from carbon monoxide poisoning around 12 min after the dramatic change in conditions (approximately 10 min after visual flashover occurred). Other factors besides CO contributed to the incapacitation of the animals.


    fire hazards, fire tests, toxicity, smoke toxicity

    Author Information:

    Grand, AF
    Staff scientist, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

    Kaplan, HL
    manager of Applied Environmental Toxicology, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

    Beitel, JJ
    manager of Fire Performance Evaluations and Fire Protection Systems, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

    Switzer, WG
    research scientist, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

    Hartzell, GE
    director of Department of Fire Technology, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

    Committee/Subcommittee: E05.32

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35305S

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