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fire dynamics case study

Prepare a case study comparing solid and liquid fuel types and define the differences of fire dynamics as related to building construction. The case study will focus on fire dynamics and fire behavior. Please be aware that fireground tactics should NOT be included in your discussion of the case study.

The student will pick one of the three scenarios listed below to develop the case study that describes fire dynamics and building construction.

Each case study will answer each of the variables listed below and summarize how building construction in the case study chosen affected the fire.

  • Explain thermal decomposition (pyrolysis) in solids.
  • Distinguish between and categorize different types of solid fuels and their fuel characteristics.
  • Identify and explain the variables affecting solid combustion.
  • Describe flame spread on solid materials.
  • Explain the effects of fire retardants on solid fuels.
  • Explain changes in matter that must occur for ignitable liquids to enter into an oxidation reaction.
  • Describe factors that differentiate flammable and combustible liquid.
  • Address any requirements your organization might have to reduce the risk of these types of incidents.

Scenario One:

The setting is a 2,800-square-foot single-family home built in 2014 of modern building construction materials. A fire starts in a couch that was newly purchased in 2016. The couch is constructed of wood and polyurethane foam, which smolders for minutes before ignition of the couch in the family room of the home. The room is 20-feet by 25-feet with several other furniture pieces that were purchased in the same time era. Also included in the furnishings are electronic equipment (television, sound, and gaming devices), a wood-finished cabinet to house the TV, and storage of miscellaneous stuff (DVDs, controllers, wires, etc.), as well as finished end tables and wall-to-wall carpet. The furniture is presented so that everyone can see the TV in a C-shaped setting. The remainder of the home is an open floor plan with the carpeted stairs to the second floor located off the family room. The adjacent rooms are the kitchen, hallway to the front door, dining area, and formal sitting room. The second floor houses four bedrooms. This fire radiates sufficient energy to ignite the adjacent furnishings. The fire grows enough to ignite adjacent wooden cabinetry/furnishings.


Scenario Two:

The setting is a 3,500-square-foot single-story restaurant with no fire protection built in 2002 of modern building construction principles. A fire starts in the kitchen area near the storage room that houses paper products, linens, plastics, non-opened cleaning supplies in plastic containers, and miscellaneous items to support the operation of the restaurant. The restaurant also houses in an adjacent storage room cooking oils that are stored in food-grade plastic containers. The fire smolders for two hours and leads to ignition of the aprons hanging on a hook next to the storage room that ignites the contents of the storage room. The fire generates enough heat to allow the cooking oil storage to fail and now contribute as fuel. The dining room, located directly off the kitchen, is a mix of fixed seating with booths manufactured with wood, plastic coverings, and polyurethane foam. The non-fixed seating is made of wood with upholstered cushions. All of the tables are made of steel with wood tops sealed with laminate tops. The fire grows enough to extend into the dining area because there is no rated separation within the space.


Scenario Three:

The setting is a 6,000-square-foot single-story retail home furnishings store with no fire protection, built in 2000 of modern building construction principles. The store has 3,500 square feet of showroom, 2,000 square feet of storage, and 500 square feet of assembly and repair space. The store has all common household furnishings including small plastic bathroom items, bedding, and all types of household furnishings. The storage room does not have storage above 10 feet, and all of the product lines (mixed mattresses and over-stuffed sofas) are stored together. The showroom is separated from the storage with self-closing doors and a sheetrock wall that is not rated. The display area in the showroom is set up in featured layouts such as bedroom sets, dining sets, and living room sets. The bathroom display area is in the center of the showroom. The assembly and repair area is in the rear of the store next to the storage area. The assembly area houses finishing materials associated with finishing furniture (oil stains, adhesive, oil- and water-based paints, and hand tools for repair and assembly). A fire starts in the furniture assembly area in a plastic trash container because of spontaneous combustion of oily rags. The fire has enough fuel to go into a free-burning state. The fire goes unreported for 10 minutes. Extension of the fire is throughout the structure.

Your response must be at least two pages and no longer than four pages in length. Include at least three references with one being your textbook. The paper will be written in APA style. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying APA citations. The title and reference pages are not included in the page-count requirement.

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