Evaluation of Smokeproof Stair Towers and Smoke Detector Performance   [open pdf - 534KB]

"Smoke as a critical factor in the safety of persons in a fire situation in a high-rise building has received considerable attention in recent years. In case of fire in such a structure, the initial buoyancy forces due to heat may be augmented by a stack effect resulting from weather conditions to cause air and smoke to travel more rapidly upwards in stairways and elevator and utility shafts. This vertical movement of smoke not only speeds smoke infiltration into the upper levels of a building, but can also leave travel paths clogged with smoke, thus hindering or preventing evacuations and obstructing the efforts of firefighters. Recent research abroad and in the United States has indicated the feasibility of smoke control by means of ventilation make-up, air input, and pressurization or venting of the stair-wells. [...] Current smoke control activities at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) are aimed at evaluating the techniques quantitatively. With this in mind two approaches have been taken: first, to conduct high-rise smoke simulation experiments that can quantitatively measure the smoke movement under controlled and uncontrolled conditions; and second, to model the smoke simulation experiments analytically: to establish a smoke movement prediction program which will form the basis for optimizing smoke control design standards."

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: https://www.huduser.gov
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