Fire Detection,
Fire Suppression Analysis
Fire Technology Services

image: SwRI large-scale fire engineering and research building

SwRI large-scale fire engineering and research building


image: Suppression of a Class B fire is attempted

Suppression of a Class B fire is attempted


Sprinkler effectiveness is tested on a flammable liquid storage array

Sprinkler effectiveness is tested on a flammable liquid storage array

Fire detection and suppression analysis activities are carried out in the 4,300-square-foot Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) fire engineering and research facility, which has a 65-foot x 65-foot footprint and is 65 feet tall — large enough to perform a 10-foot diameter pool fire or a 50-foot-tall corner test.

Features of the Fire Detection, Fire Suppression Facility

  • Indoor area for large-scale fires with heat release rates in excess of 25 megawatts
  • Pollution abatement system for reducing particulate emissions that can exhaust up to 150,000 standard cubic feet per minute of fire effluents during testing and remove particulate emissions above 1.5 microns with greater than 99 percent efficiency
  • Twelve symmetrically placed louvers allow air to be drawn into the building without producing asymmetrical air currents
  • An elevated control room for enhanced test monitoring and an adjustable-height ceiling for simulating various-sized structures
  • Perimeter floor drain and a 40,000-gallon holding tank for liquid effluents
  • Fire suppression system equipped with a 1,500 gallon per minute fire pump, supplied by a 30,000-gallon water storage tank
  • A 1,500-gallon foam agent storage container and associated equipment to allow the induction of fire suppression agents during tests
  • Remote viewing access for clients
  • Tests documented with digital video and additional options include high-speed, thermal imaging and ultraviolet imaging
  • A secure website for clients to observe testing from any computer with Internet access

Standard Fire Suppression Testing

SwRI conducts a variety of standard fire suppression tests including, but not limited to:

  • FM 2000

    Approval Standard for Automatic Sprinklers for Fire Protection
  • FM 2008

    Approval Standard for Suppression Mode [Early Suppression - Fast Response (ESFR)] Automatic Sprinklers
  • FM 4995

    Approval Standard for Commodity Classification of Idle Plastic Pallets
  • FM 4996

    Approval Standard for Classification of Idle Plastic Pallets as Equivalent to Wood Pallets
  • IMO MSC Circ. 848

    Revised Guidelines for the approval of Equivalent Fixed Gas Fire-Extinguishing Systems, as referred to in SOLAS 74, for Machinery Spaces and Cargo Pump-Rooms
  • IMO MSC Circ. 913

    Guidelines for the Approval of Fixed Water-Based Local Application Fire-Fighting Systems for Use in Category A Machinery Spaces
  • MIL-F-24385F

    Fire Extinguishing Agent, Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) Liquid Concentrate for Fresh and Sea Water
  • NFPA 10

    Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • NFPA 11

    Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam
  • NFPA 18

    Standard on Wetting Agents
  • UL 162

    Foam Equipment and Liquid Concentrates
  • UL 199

    Automatic Sprinklers for Fire-Protection Service
  • UL 711

    Rating and Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishers
  • UL 1767

    Early-Suppression Fast-Response Sprinklers
  • UL 2335

    Fire Tests of Storage Pallets

Nonstandard Fire Detection, Fire Suppression Testing

SwRI conducts nonstandard tests to evaluate fire protection schemes for storage of commodities. These types of tests can be used to develop recommendations to regulatory bodies as to the minimum acceptable protection guidelines for various applications.

Related Terminology

code compliance  •  engineering design  •  fire and explosion investigations  •  fire resistance  •  fire testing laboratory  •  material flammability  •  product development  •  risk and hazards  •  suppression  •  third-party certification  •  listing and labeling

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.
04/15/14