FDNY Fire Behavior Study Takes a Look at Tactics

The FDNY on Monday began the most comprehensive series of fire-related studies ever conducted, which will span a two-week period.

The department partnered with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Preservation and Governor’s Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) to investigate why fires are burning quicker and hotter than ever before and what fire departments can do to deal with the issue.

"We're studying our tactics and procedures, and how efficient they are," Battalion 51 Chief George Healy said in a department statement. "We want to know how they affect the movement of the fire and how fires grow."

The tests began on Governor's Island in Brick Village and included 20 wood-frame townhouses with brick exteriors built in the 1980s slated to be demolished.

Sensors, cameras and other equipment were set up in each building to collect more than 100 data points during the 20 different tests.

NIST and UL have worked with the FDNY on more than 100 building burns, including a wind-driven fire study conducted in 2006.

"Fire departments from around the world look to the FDNY and will change their tactics based on what the FDNY is doing," UL Engineer Steve Kerber said.