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Baltimore, MD, United States

Budnick E.K.,Hughes Associates, Inc.
Journal of Fire Protection Engineering | Year: 2011

General Services Administration's (GSA) Goal-Oriented Systems Approach to Building Fire safety developed by Harold E. Bud Nelson is presented. The underlying structure of the Goal-Oriented Fire safety Systems Approach is a conventional decision/logic tree. Two types of logic gates were used to show hierarchical relationships among the parameters in the tree. The GSA method has both qualitative and quantitative aspects. The qualitative component was associated with use of the decision tree as an overall guide for fire protection planning. The quantitative component relies on deterministic knowledge and probability estimates to propagate probabilistic estimates of success through selected branches of the tree where such knowledge can be estimated. A final measure of fire safety, referred to by Nelson as L-Curve, is determined based on a series of probability calculations for key branches in the decision tree. The L-curve is developed based on calculation of the cumulative probability at each module and at each barrier.

Gwynne S.M.V.,Hughes Associates, Inc.
Fire and Materials | Year: 2012

Data are essential to the understanding of human behaviour in fire. Human egress data-sets are scarce, and those currently available are relatively narrow in scope, from varied sources, inconsistently described and frequently several decades old. This paper describes a framework for the storage and presentation of human egress data. This work has been conducted as part of a project funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and, as a result, a central repository of data will be created that provides tools to facilitate the storage, representation and access to the data needed for researchers and engineers alike. When fully implemented, this framework (in the form of a Data Portal) will better inform the use of the data available and make accessing this data more convenient. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Gwynne S.M.V.,Hughes Associates, Inc.
Fire Technology | Year: 2013

The analysis of human behavior in fire is a relatively young field, only existing for a matter of decades. For much of this time it was used to support the related engineering process, rather than as a significant pursuit in its own right-to provide support for the assumptions used by engineers, designers and by regulators. Prior to this point, the engineering process excluded the human response from the assessment process altogether. The field originally developed according to two principle objectives, both of which were tied to the practice of fire safety engineering: The ability to establish the importance of human performance and then the provision of key supporting evidence for engineering practice. In both instances, the development of the field was determined by engineering practice, rather than the generation of a comprehensive theory that helped to explain and predict phenomena. This evolution of the field has led to an incomplete, disorganized and disparate understanding of the subject matter: human performance in fire. The lifeblood of any field of study is data-data that bridges the gap between observation, understanding and application. This article, and the project on which it is based, represents an attempt to strengthen the data collection process, the representation of this data, and the dissemination of this data to interested parties; i. e., to strengthen the study of human performance in fire. This will be achieved through the provision of several tools (to aid the collection and presentation of data), that will be combined together in the form of an online data portal. This will benefit the field, allow the development of more refined and more comprehensive theories, and allow for better informed engineering activities. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Sunderland P.B.,University of Maryland University College | Quintiere J.G.,University of Maryland University College | Tabaka G.A.,Hughes Associates, Inc. | Lian D.,Chinese Peoples Armed Police forces Academy | Chiu C.-W.,Taiwan Police College
Proceedings of the Combustion Institute | Year: 2011

A combined analytical and experimental study was performed to determine the length and width of a candle flame. Measurements were made of laminar steady flames from photographs of straight-wick candles composed of n-tetracosane and normal paraffin waxes. The wicks studied ranged in diameter from about 1 to 9 mm, and in height from about 2 to 10 mm, with aspect ratios (diameter to length) of 0.1 to 2. The flame length from the pool surface and the flame width at the top of the wick were found. It was also noted and recorded that the flame attachment point along the vertical wick varied. The attachment point was found to depend on the aspect ratio of the wick. A model based on stagnant layer burning for a finite cylinder was used, along with the Roper laminar burner model for flame height. With slight adjustment to a constant, the width of the flame was well predicted, and the prediction for the flame height was about 60% too high and offset. In addition, the model gave insight to produce an accurate simple correlation for flame height in terms of wick aspect ratio and Rayleigh number. © 2010 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2010

During Phase I, the feasibility of developing and implementing an innovative automated fire detection and targeting system that can suppress fires anywhere on a typical deckhouse will be demonstrated. During the program, performance requirements and metrics will be defined and used as the basis of the assessment. At least one conceptual design will be developed and assessed based on the previously define performance requirements. The assessment will identify the potential capabilities and limitations of the system for this application. A Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) will also be developed to support a Phase II effort. This POA&M will include both system development and evaluation plans contain discrete milestones for product development for verifying performance and suitability.

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