September 10 - Reduced Scale Enclosure Testing

  • September 10, 2014
  • 11:45 AM - 2:00 PM
  • DoubleTree Hotel - Westminster, CO


  • Registration rate for Authorities Having Jurisdiction (e.g., building officials, fire officials, inspectors, etc.)
  • This is the rate for SFPE-RMC "Members" and "Chapter Friend Members" to attend this meeting.
  • This is the rate for attendees who are not members of SFPE-RMC. [Note that membership in the Chapter is only $25 for the year ($15 for SFPE organization members). If you plan to attend more than one Chapter meeting, Chapter Membership pays for itself quickly!]
  • This registration type is for pre-paid "Chapter Friends" or "Chapter Members" who prepaid for all meetings with their membership payment for the year.
  • College-aged students who are currently enrolled in a Bachelors or Masters degree program, who are interested in the profession of Fire Protection Engineering.

Registration at least two days in advance is preferred (so that we have an accurate count) but is not absolutely necessary.
Registration is closed

Mark Campbell, CFPS, SET, is a Fire Protection Engineer with Lockheed Martin’s Antarctic Support Contract for the National Science Foundation.  In addition, Mark is an Assistant Fire Marshal, fire investigator, and K9 Handler with the Wheat Ridge Fire Department.  He has spent over thirty years in both the public and private sector including law enforcement, fire service, consulting, and private litigation support.  His research has been published in Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction (2012) and the International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology (2012, 2014).  His education includes Ohio State University (Welding Engineering), Eastern Kentucky University (Fire Protection and Safety Engineering - in progress) and California Polytechnic State University (Masters of Fire Protection Engineering – in progress).

Reduced Scale Enclosure Testing

The scientific method is the process in which the fire investigator, among other steps, develops a hypothesis and tests it.  The 2011 NFPA 921, §20.5.1, states that “Fire testing is a tool that can provide data that compliment data collected at the fire scene (see 4.3.3), or can be used to test hypotheses (see 4.3.6).  Such fire testing can range in scope from bench scale testing to full-scale recreation of the entire event.” (bold and italics added).  A Full Scale Enclosure (FSE) testing of a hypothesis may be quite expensive, time consuming, and just not practical.  Building and burning a Reduced Scale Enclosure (RSE) may provide insight into the various fire effects, patterns, and dynamics within the enclosure.

Previous Full Scale Enclosure (FSE) burns at Eastern Kentucky University examined the results of a low heat release ignition sources and the how the area of origin, based upon the fire effects and fire patterns, preserved through post flashover.  This paper will discuss current research on the same concept but with the RSE (1/4 scale).  Through the use of the applicable scaling laws, low heat release rate fires were designed and applied to various locations on and around the furniture.  The RSE’s were burned two minutes post flashover.  In all four test burns the area of origins were determined based upon the collective fire effects and fire patterns.  These results have demonstrated that the RSE, when applying the scaling laws appropriately, are a very useful tool for the fire investigator and fire protection engineers.

A RSE is not only a tool for hypothesis testing but is a great tool for investigator to fine tune their skills as well as develop new ones.  These RSEs are inexpensive; easy to construct; easy on time; and just another way of for the fire investigator to gain more hands one experience.

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