NIST Sofa Burn Photo



The National Center for Forensic Science (NCFS) of the University of Central Florida (UCF) working in partnership with the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) created a Burning Item Database. This effort was funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) under contract 2008-DN-BX-K167.


The purpose of the Burning Item Database (BID) is to provide a central location to describe the burning characteristics of common household/office items. Having this information in a central location will facilitate sharing data and knowledge with the rest of the fire research and engineering community, thus reducing the time needed to search for information on the internet and possibly avoiding or limiting duplicate fire tests.

The intent is to provide useful information to students, researchers, fire protection engineers, fire investigators and many others. We anticipate that the BID database providing information on the burning characteristics of common items treated as fuel packages will be used for hand calculations. For instance, we anticipate that fire investigators will find the information useful during investigation when a basic description of the fuel sources is required to understand a given fire scenario. In addition, we anticipate fire protection engineers will also find the information useful to properly define the fuel sources in a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) program or in a zone model. Examples of such programs are the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and the Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport (CFAST), respectively. FDS and CFAST are leading fire modeling software developed by the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.