Fire Technology

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 201–207

Estimating Data for Incapacitation of People by Fire Smoke

  • Richard G. Gann

DOI: 10.1023/B:FIRE.0000016843.38848.37

Cite this article as:
Gann, R.G. Fire Technology (2004) 40: 201. doi:10.1023/B:FIRE.0000016843.38848.37


Fire hazard and risk analyses establish the basis for providing conditions of safety for people, including those that are more sensitive to fire smoke than others. For this purpose, this paper develops a method for estimating, from information on lethal and incapacitating exposures for rats, smoke toxic potency values for incapacitation of smoke-sensitive people. For those engineering applications where the mix of combustibles is unknown, generic values are derived of the concentration of smoke that would incapacitate smoke-sensitive people in 5 min: 6 g/m3 for a well-ventilated fire and 3 g/m3 for an underventilated (e.g., post-flashover) fire. These values are estimated with significant assumptions in their derivation, resulting in an estimated uncertainty of about a factor of two. Further, there is a wide range of smoke toxic potency values reported for various combustibles, and some of these will lead to values significantly higher or lower than these generic figures.

firesmokesmoke toxicityincapacitationlethality

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard G. Gann
    • 1
  1. 1.Fire Research Division, Building and Fire Research LaboratoryNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA