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Using Software to Develop a Risk-Based ApproachFire Modeling - Image Source:

Scientists and engineers are now able to evaluate how various tactical approaches are likely to affect a fire's growth and development stages under varying ventilation conditions and computer models can now be used to develop a safer risk-based approach.   Now, firefighters are able to evaluate their actions in relation to tactical venting actions. 

Evaluation of Fires by Modeling

Most models contain relationships that were developed from empirical data from fire tests.   These models have been proven to be reasonably accurate in predicting certain fire behavior.   A number of types of computer fire models are also available to the scientist or engineer.    Characteristics that are routinely computed include:

  • gas and surface temperatures
  • flow rates of gas through openings
  • heat fluxes impinging on surfaces
  • smoke obscuration
  • production of certain toxic gas species
  • strength reduction and structural failure of building elements
  • activation times for sprinklers and detectors

Fire Modeling Software

We list some potentially helpful links to a number of sources of geologic, scientific, and environmental software on our internet software links page.   Some software that can assist with compliance, fire prevention, fire suppression, and evaluation are listed below:

  • NIST Fire on the Web.   Fire on the Web is a collection of resources from the Building and Fire Research Laboratory's Fire Research Division at NIST.  These Web pages provide links to fire related software, experimental fire data and mpeg/quick time movies of fire tests that can be downloaded and/or viewed with a Web browser.
  • Fire Engineering Computer Software (FireWind).   FireWind is an easy to use computer software package of 18 programs covering different aspects of fire technology and fire protection science. It includes:
    • one-room and two-rooms zone models which take into account various ventilation conditions
    • sprinkler activation calculations combined with a zone model
    • model of evacuation from a multi-room and multi-storey building
    • heat radiation calculations
    • ... and more
  • PyroSim Fire Dynamics Simulator.   PyroSim is a graphical user interface for the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS). It is used to create fire simulations that accurately predict smoke movement, temperature, and toxin concentrations during a fire.   PyroSim 2012 is a graphical user interface for FDS and Smokeview. Some of PyroSim’s key features include:


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