Impact of Apartment Tightness on Temperature Variability during a Fire

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 26;17(12):4590. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124590.


Along with the thermal modernization process of old residential buildings, there has been a significant increase in the air tightness of apartments, which may contribute to the deterioration of the safety of users and rescue teams in a fire. The main goal of this study was to investigate the impact of the air tightness of an apartment on fire growth and temperature variability. In the work, an experimental method was applied. Two full-scale fire tests were carried out, one in a sealed apartment and the other in unsealed one. The temperature was measured by thirty-two thermocouples. Two thermal imaging and video cameras were also used to evaluate a temperature field as well as flame and smoke height. Based on the analysis, conclusions have been formulated. It is noteworthy that the highest temperatures and significant increase in pressure were obtained in a sealed apartment, but dangerous and critical conditions regarding firefighters' safety were achieved faster and persisted much longer in an unsealed one.

Keywords: air tightness of residential apartment; fire environment; fire in apartment; real-scale fire tests; temperature variability during a fire.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Facility Design and Construction
  • Firefighters*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Temperature