Analysis of Current Methods of Smoke Removal in Structural Fires

Principles of fluid dynamics can be accurately used to model the flow of liquids and gases. These principles become particularly applicable to the field of firefighting and form the basis for current techniques used by firefighters to eradicate smoke from burning houses. The researchers sought to determine which methods currently employed by firefighters are effective in clearing smoke from burning structures. These current methods include Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV), vertical ventilation, and combinations of these methods that vary across fire stations due to limited resources.

The purpose of the experiment was to determine which specific combination of smoke removal methods would completely remove smoke from a building structure in the shortest amount of time. A large doll house, which was filled with smoke from a fog machine, was used to simulate the conditions of structural fires. The experiment compared the currently deployed techniques of PPV on the ground floor and vertical ventilation through the roof of the house. In total, the experiment involved five combinations of smoke removal methods facilitated through the use of strategically placed fans. The independent variable in the experiment was the type of smoke removal method and the dependent variable was the amount of time elapsed during the removal of smoke. The researchers varied the smoke removal methods and made multiple comparisons between the methods using two sample t-tests. These statistical tests provided significant evidence that the methods varied in effectiveness. Vertical ventilation proved to be the most effective technique single-handedly, and was also very effective when combined with Positive Pressure Ventilation.

Research Conducted By:

Andrew Rouditchenko
Warren Mott High School

Zachary Youkhana
Warren Mott High School