A report recently released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) examines the fire dynamics of a house fire in Chicago, where failure of a door released hot gases and resulted in the death of a firefighter.
“The simulation shows that fire in a covered back porch caused a closed steel-faced, wood-framed door to crumble, releasing pressure and causing hot gases to pour into the adjoining hallway where the victim and another firefighter were advancing a fire hose. The coincidental timing of the responders’ “interior attack” and the door’s failure proved to be deadly. In less than 5 seconds, the flow of gases caused the hallway temperature to soar, from about 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) to at least 260 degrees Celsius (500 degrees Fahrenheit), the study found.”
Although this was not a fire door assembly, the video is well worth watching as it describes the effects of a door failure. Fire door assemblies that are not code-compliant could result in similar failures, reminding us once again how important it is for fire door assemblies to be inspected annually as required by current codes.
The written report from NIST can be downloaded here.
Thank you to Charles Anderson for sharing the link!