Fire Science Show is connecting fire researchers and practitioners with a society of fire engineers, firefighters, architects, designers and all others, who are genuinely interested in creating a fire-safe future. Through interviews with a diverse group of experts, we present the history of our field as well as the most novel advancements. We hope the Fire Science Show becomes your weekly source of fire science knowledge and entertainment. Produced in partnership with the Diamond Sponsor of the show - OFR Consultants
141 - Smouldering in Mass Timber with Harry Mitchell
This week, I am meeting up with Imperial Hazelab's Harry Mitchell, who is finalizing his PhD thesis on mass timber fires and, quite uniquely - including the smouldering phenomena in those fires.
As a part of Code Red experiments run by Arup, Imperial College London and Cerib (which you can learn more about from episode 111 with Panos Kotsovinos) Harry has performed observations of formation, growth and decay of smouldering "hot spots" for up to 2 days after the fire. Based on that, conclusions were formed on the occurrence and persistence of the smouldering in large, open-plan mass timber compartments. This is precisely what we cover in this podcast episode - what is the smouldering fire of timber? Where can we expect it to happen? What are the potential consequences to the structure and people who need to enter it (firefighters and investigators?)
If you would like to learn more, please follow to these resources:
Structural hazards of smouldering fires in timber buildingsFlame spread characteristics in large compartments with an exposed timber ceilingReview of fire experiments in mass timber compartments: Current understanding, limitations, and research gapsFire dynamics inside a large and open-plan compartment with exposed timber ceiling and columns: CodeRed #01Impact of ventilation on the fire dynamics of an open-plan compartment with exposed timber ceiling and columns: CodeRed #02The Effectiveness of a Water Mist System in an Open-plan Compartment with an Exposed Timber Ceiling: CodeRed #03And other mass timber experiments covered in the Fire Science Show.
Fire Science Show is produced in partnership with OFR Consultants.
140 - Development and implementation of the SBI test with Rudolf van Mierlo
Tests in the world of reaction to fire are supposed to be representations of real fire scenarios, allowing us to grasp the characteristics of building products against them. While for the worst scenario (flashover fire) or the smallest ignition source (small flame), the definition is pretty straightforward. However, creating the intermediate method that the entire Europe would agree on was a bumpy ride. Our latest episode is a treasure trove of knowledge detailing the birth and maturation of the Single Burning Item (SBI, EN 13823 ) test standard. With the CEN SBI group Convenor - Rudolf van Mierlo, we discuss the history and background of the standard, the background for some not-so-easy technical decisions and perhaps even tougher political ones.
In a project of this magnitude, everything matters - how do you ensure the method is reproducible and repeatable? How do you convey the exact amount of information in the technical standard? Will one of the measures eventually be the one that defines the final classification, and what does the classification reflect?
Towards the end of the episode, we try to put those lessons from the creation and implementation of SBI into brainstorming a pathway for a new intermediate test we really need. An intermediate testing method for facades, as an effort for the Dutch government and a likely update to the existing ISO standard.
Link to the conference we have discussed: https://dgmr.nl/en/sign-up-for-dgmr-conference-fire-safety-in-an-sustainable-future/
- The Rise of Euroclass by Angus Law et al. - a more detailed description of the politics behind the standard
- The Single Burning Item (SBI) Test Method - A Decade of Development and Plans for the Near Future by Rudolf van Mierlo and Bart Sette
- KRESNIK: A top-down, statistical approach to understand the fire performance of building facades using standard test data by Matt Bonner et al. - a more detailed description of how the Polish method handles different facades
Also, if you enjoyed this episode, you will like this one too: https://www.firescienceshow.com/089-designing-law-by-disasters-or-not-with-birgitte-messerschmidt/
Cover image - Effectis press release on changes to the SBI standard in 2020 - also a valuable source to see how the standard is evolving.
139 - Wind and Fire Interactions for Safer Open Car Park Design
I've finished my first large research grant! I guess that makes me a 'real' scientist now. Came here today to share some most interesting aspects of this project with you. Not going to bore you all about the wind and fire interaction physics (hey, there is an entire episode 50 devoted to that!), but rather talk about challenges and stuff that perhaps will matter if you would like to engineer a case similar to one we have studied.
So in this podcast episode, we will go into:
How our framework for wind and fire coupled modelling worked out in practice (read more about the framework here Wind and Fire Coupled Modelling part 1 - Literature Review and here Wind and Fire Coupled Modelling part 2 - Best Practice Guidelines )How we had to go miles to modify the ABL profile so our wind predictions at the location of the fire are spot on A bit on design fire choice, but plenty more in here: 135 - Contemplating a design fire for car parksAnd most importantly, how we handled the mass amount of data generated in 336 CFD simulations within the project. Our unique approach to statistics, indexing and risk.The promised webinars will be uploaded soon, and you will find the link here.
Badania przedstawione w odcinku podcastu przeprowadzono w projekcie realizowanym an podstawie umowy UMO-2020/37/B/ST8/03839 do projektu badawczego nr 2020/37/B/ST8/03839 pt. Skutki oddziaływania wiatru na pożary budynków w wieloparametrycznej ocenie ryzyka z wykorzystaniem metod numerycznych.
Grafika autorstwa P. Jamińska-Gadomska (ITB) oraz P. Prusiński (NCBJ) w ramach współracy pomiedzy ITB a NCBJ w projekcie EuroCC (No 951732)
138 - Getting ready for the Wildfires in Northern Europe with Nieves Fernandez-Anez
It is interesting to see changes in our profession that happen directly in front of our lives. Climate change and in consequence the changes in the wildfire patterns are one such obvious shift. In Poland, we do not ever have a ‘wildfire’ season, and I was kind of surprised when I discovered this is a thing in the South or in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, we do not have it *yet*. Some years ago devastating wildfire season happened in Sweden. There has been an emergency in northern parts of Russia as well. The summers are more dry – I thought that this is the driver of challenge, however, as with almost everything in fire science, the answer is more complicated.
I have invited Nieves Fernandez-Anez from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences to discuss what is the ‘north’ doing to get ready for the coming threat. Nieves told me we do not need to reinvent the wheel – a lot of solutions, methods, approaches and policies do already exist. However, the wheel has also not been tested on all roads… Some things that can work in Spain or Greece won’t ever be feasible in the Scandinavia. Cultural and societal differences must be understood and accounted for when transposing solutions. The same comes to our models – they need to account for local vegetation, and its growth patterns. A challenge in itself, as we need a rapid increase in the amount and quality of information we have at hand.
I was a bit naïve coming to the episode, and the issue seems significantly more complicated. This is obviously an issue that a single researcher won’t handle. But here, another reason why I have invited Nieves. She is one of researchers who really get a lot out of collaborations in the COST network. Previously in COST Action Fire Links and now in the COST action on extreme wildfires. These networks connect scientists from different backgrounds and different regions, to create a thriving environment for knowledge exchange and crafting new ideas that respond to the new problems.
If you would like to learn more about changes in wildfires in Europe, refer to this paper.
COST Action Fire Links
COST Action european Network on Extreme fiRe behaviOr (NERO) (just started and open!)
Cover image - picture of wildfires near Ljusdal in Sweden, 2018, NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin and Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response and the Level 1; after Wikipedia: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Po%C5%BCary_las%C3%B3w_w_Szwecji_(2018)
137 - e-mobility fires with Adam Barowy
This episode of the Fire Science Show welcomes once again Adam Barowy from the Fire Safety Research Institute to shed light on the pressing issue of fire hazards in electric mobility devices.
In this episode, we give a follow-up to ep. 085 with Adam, which was published one year ago. One year in the world of e-mobility is a lot of time, so we have a lot of catching up to do!
We tackle the complexities of standardizing explosion protection for large-scale energy storage and the implications of toxic smoke on human health. We delve into real-world case studies that underscore the urgency of our quest for safer battery usage and regulation. We also discuss the aftermath of an electric scooter fire on the Toronto subway, unravelling the potential danger these incidents pose in congested spaces and the evolving role of safety standards and research in keeping our communities safe. As we also discuss the role of certifications like UL 2272 and the promise of new standards such as UL 1487, join us in this episode to equip yourself with the knowledge to navigate an electrified world responsibly.
I promised Adam to plug in the https://batteryfiresafety.org/ - a public campaign focused on spreading knowledge in the safe use of batteries.
Photo credit - a still frame from FSRI excellent video at https://batteryfiresafety.org/
136 - Fire Fundamentals pt 6 - The fire automation in a building
In this episode of Fire Fundamentals, we dive into the life-saving choreography of fire detection and building automation systems that must work together in case of a fire. We discuss the roles and challenges related to:
fire detection and signalling;control panels and fire scenarios;smoke control and compartmentalization;power and water supply and management.We also discuss the sources of potential delays in device operation, and how some of those are consciously built into the system as a means for false alarm mitigation.
Great podcast, inspiring topics
This Podcast is great, the line up of speakers Wojciech Wegrzynski lines up every week, the detail of questions, and the wide breadth of topics covered is truly inspiring. The amount I learn every week, from each episode, is amazing. The links provided with the podcast, to follow up on topics have been really helpful as well, and I think this show will truly help grow the connections between fire researchers and practitioners with the broader community. Well done Wojciech, and thank you for your Podcast!
Awesome fire science and engineering
Wojciech masters the science of talking with people and they tell him all sorts of super interesting things about fire, engineering and how to make the world safer. I strongly recommend this podcast in the more vigorous terms.
Informative and inspiring
Thank you for creating this great podcast! Not only does it disseminate complex science in an accessible and enjoyable way, but it also inspires and motivates me as a young researcher. Thank you!