A History of Fire Testing by J. Randall Lawson

By J. Randall Lawson

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It describes the needs that fostered the development of fire test methods. And, it describes the history associated with the development of North American fire test methods that have mostly become standard test methods used to help protect the public and property. It brings this history to the present, the beginning years of the 21st Century, and it lays the groundwork for the future of fire test method development. At this point, it is time to attempt to look into the future. As the reader understands, the following discussion is strictly hypothetical, but it is based on perceived needs of the future and the possibility of additional advancements in engineering and science.

62 Techniques used by both efforts were based on the original work of W. M. G. , “Variations in the Burning Characteristics of Low Porosity Cribs,” Combustion Institute/Western States Section, Spring 1977. 62 Parker, W. , “An Investigation of the Fire Environment in the ASTM E 84 Tunnel Test,” NBS Technical Note 945, National Bureau of Standards, August 1977. 63 In 1978, Clayton Huggett of the National Bureau of Standards focused an effort on defining a body of science necessary for the development of a robust oxygen calorimeter system.

L. Janssens, “Measuring Rate of Heat Release by Oxygen Consumption,” Fire Technology, Vol 27, pp. 234–49, (1991). , Test Methods for Quantifying the Propensity of Cigarettes to Ignite Soft Furnishings, NIST Special Publication 851, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, 1993. 73 The test method was first adopted by the state of New York for regulating cigarette fire performance and has since been adopted by numerous other states, Canada, and a number of other countries around the world.

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