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Exposing Decking Assemblies to Continuous Wind-Driven Firebrand Showers

Manzello, S.L. and Suzuki S., 2014. Exposing Decking Assemblies to Continuous Wind-Driven Firebrand Showers. Fire Safety Science 11: 1339-1352. 10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.11-1339


A series of experiments were conducted to examine potential vulnerabilities of wood decks to continuous, wind-driven firebrand showers. Sections of wood decks (1.2 m by 1.2 m) were constructed and attached to a reentrant corner assembly. The deck/reentrant corner assembly was then exposed to continuous, wind- driven firebrand bombardment generated by the newly developed NIST full-scale Continuous Feed Firebrand Generator (NIST full-scale Continuous Feed Dragon) installed in the Building Research Institute’s (BRI) Fire Research Wind Tunnel Facility (FRWTF). Three different wood deck types were exposed to wind-driven firebrand showers at wind speed of 6 m/s; Western Red Cedar, Douglas-Fir, and Redwood. For each wood deck tested (exposed to a total firebrand mass flux of 17.1 g/m2s), firebrands accumulated on the deck surface, and each wood deck type was observed to ignite by flaming ignition. The average time to flaming ignition was 437 s for Cedar, 934 s for Douglas-Fir, and 756 s for Redwood. Therefore, wood decks were observed to be vulnerable to ignition from continuous, wind-driven firebrand showers. Results of these experiments are discussed in detail.


wood decking, ignition, firebrands, wildland-urban interface fires

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