Fire Fighter Equipment Operational Environment (FFEOE): Evaluation of Thermal Conditions

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Fire fighters face challenging conditions in the modern fire environment. Their equipment needs to be capable of withstanding these conditions including thermal exposure (conductive, convective, and radiative heating) and abrasion. Modern structure fires are different today than they were in previous decades, burning faster, hotter, and with more intensity. The thermal conditions in the operational environment can depend on a various factors including: ignition, fuel, and ventilation. A simplified and quantitative way to describe the conditions is with the resulting temperature and heat flux in the environment. Equipment is evaluated based on known exposure conditions and specified test criteria. A significant amount of research has been done providing thermal measurements that should be compiled and analyzed to determine the thermal exposure to equipment in the operational environment.

Research goal: The goal of this research is to review currently available literature & research and develop a quantitative description of the thermal conditions (e.g. heat release rate, temperature and heat flux) in a structure fire environment to which fire fighters and their equipment are exposed.

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