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FSRI seeks advisors for project on rowhome, townhouse firefighting tactics

The rise of new townhouse construction combined with existing homes presents an evolving challenge



By Bill Carey

COLUMBIA, Md. — The Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), part of UL Research Institutes, is recruiting a technical panel for an upcoming research project on firefighting strategies and tactics in modern townhomes and traditional rowhomes.

FSRI states that U.S. Census data on housing construction shows the last quarters of 2023 represent the highest market share of single-family attached structures on record in over nearly 30 years. The rise in the number of townhouse buildings, combined with the number of existing but older attached structures commonly known as rowhomes, represent evolving challenges for the fire service.

Researchers have designed and will construct three structures at the test facility in Sharon Hill, Pa. A series of experiments will be conducted examining fire dynamics and firefighting tactics.

The purpose of the research is to gain a better understanding of fire growth and spread in these occupancies and their impact on victim survivability.

Researchers will examine the coordination of suppression, search and ventilation tactics. A series of technical reports with tactical recommendations to guide firefighters in responding to incidents in these structures will be compiled and released after the research.

To apply for the technical panel, please complete this form by 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. The final panelists will be selected and notified by May 15, 2024.