Episodes
Published 05/11/22
Episode 50! Time to celebrate, and for this one we have a surprise. A mysterious host takes over the show to interview a wind and fire modelling celebrity... Ok, this should be enough to not reveal everything once the show notes get auto-posted on all social media :) I am super happy for multiple reasons. You guys were with me 50 times on my way to share fire science with everyone who wants to listen. You have downloaded my content 25.000 times. And finally, I get to share with you some of...
Published 05/11/22
So we all know batteries burn... but do we know what exactly does burn? What is inside this tiny metal cylinder that scares so many of us? We try to understand it a bit more with Dr Francesco Restuccia of Kings College London, who is an expert in battery fire safety and self-heating. And this combination of skills gave him a unique view of the challenges of fire safety of batteries - especially the ones that are stored in warehouses and not fueling anything. Francesco takes me on a journey...
Published 05/04/22
Did you know first car parks were built for electric vehicles? Or what clever techniques can be used to model the spread of fire between vehicles? Or what challenges scientists meet burning vehicles, and why pneumatic suspension makes stuff more interesting... These (and much much more) are the things you learn by inviting Mike Spearpoint of the OFR for a lovely chat about design fires in car parks, and car parking infrastructure in general.  But wait for it, there is much more. The hidden...
Published 04/27/22
Pressurization is a common strategy for protecting spaces against the infiltration of smoke. However, the solution has a kind-of bad press as "not-working" or "incapable to meet its design goals". We know, that the systems are as good as their design, and in this episode with my guest, Grzegorz Sypek, we try to bust some myths around PDS systems. We touch on the important design points and the properties of modern solutions available in the market. We also discuss the standardization of PDS...
Published 04/20/22
This week we do something funny - a crossover episode with the host of the Fire Code Tech podcast - Gus Gagliardi. We end up discussing the paths of fire safety engineers, from school to specialized roles in engineering companies, and the challenges associated with that.   We hope you liked this twist to the podcast, and maybe discovered a new show to follow up! If you want to hear a familiar voice, you can start with this episode...
Published 04/12/22
How does one decide when a building is fire safe? That is a real hell of a question to answer! Is it when no harm can occur? But such a condition can never be fulfilled... there is always a meteor waiting around the corner to fall into your building! So if some situations can occur for which we cannot prepare, when do we decide we are 'safe enough'?  This is the tough question we try to decipher together with prof. Ruben van Coile and prof. Danny Hopkin. It is an inspiring journey, and you...
Published 04/06/22
Since Episode 6, the fire safety of battery systems was not very much visible in the show - a good time to change that! And we do this with a  true legend of fire safety - Ofodike Ezekoye. In the last year, I have learnt a lot about battery systems, which did not make me more afraid. Entirely opposite - the more I know, the more confident I am in fire science and engineers finding solutions for any outstanding issues with this emerging technology. In this episode, we go through the challenges...
Published 03/30/22
It is always a pleasure to interview a true legend of fire safety. And when the topic of the interview is their thoughts on neglected areas of our discipline, based on almost five decades of experience? This must end up great! And it did (IMHO). Please join me and prof. Vyto Babrauskas in discovering what are the parts of fire science that are in need of research. What are some obvious solutions, that I think we all acknowledge, but for some reason, we do not have? What are the dead ends...
Published 03/23/22
We all understand the dangers of smoke inhalation in fires. But what about the site of the fire a few days after it was put out? It looks clean, maybe even lost the smell... Is it something to worry about, or you can rush straight in, wearing your shorts and a t-shirt? Well, I guess I would not be that reckless, but if I can be honest - I don't think I would care that much about protecting myself either... At least that was me before the talk to dr Gavin Horn from UL FSRI. Gavin spent more...
Published 03/16/22
How reliable are sprinkler systems? Is it 100%? Is it 95%? Maybe it is 88%... actually, whatever the number is, do we truly understand what does it represent? What does it mean that a sprinkler has succeeded and what does it mean it failed. These are the questions that were behind my today's interview with Arnstein Fedoy.  You may remember Arnstein from his short appearance in episode 26 . This time, we've had the whole episode for this discussion, and I must say it was well invested hour on...
Published 03/09/22
This week I've invited a guest, that I was looking to talk to for a good while... Dr Ingo Riess from Riess Ingenieur-GmbH is someone I look up to in the field of tunnel fire safety, in which I am very active in the last few years. In this chat, we had the chance to go through the concept of tunnel resiliency and calculate the risk related to the whole road network, rather than just a tunnel on its own. This is such a refreshing concept, in which the goal - maximizing public safety - is well...
Published 03/02/22
What does the future hold? Probably no one knows. But what happens in near future with some of the most popular tools used by the FSE community? That is a great question to a tool developer - Bryan Klein of Thunderhead Engineering, the company that brought us the most popular FDS pre-processor PyroSim and as popular evacuation model Pathfinder. In this talk, we focus on CFD modelling, and the impact pre-and postprocessing tools had on our capabilities to tackle fire problems with our...
Published 02/23/22
It is the third time we talk about mass timber and fire in this show, and I hope every time the message gets even more refined. In this episode, it is clear - fire resistance is not always enough. But why? You will learn that from dr Daniel Brandon from RISE who spent last years researching timber in fire. In this episode, we discuss the limitations of the fire resistance approach in testing timber structures, and also venture beyond it - how does exposed timber change the fire dynamics in a...
Published 02/15/22
If you were investigating phenomena and built your whole narrative around a flawed and debunked concept, would that get published? Would that get cited? Would that be recognized? Many of us would say an obvious *no*, but that is not so obvious when we discuss the human behaviour field of science and the concept of panic (the p-word we do not say!). Even though among top evacuation scientists there seems to be a consensus about why this concept is flawed, every year we see more and more papers...
Published 02/09/22
In this episode I was really happy to host two amazing researchers from UL FSRI - Dr Steve Kerber, the VP of Underwriter Laboratories and Director of UL Fire Safety Research Institute, and Dr Craig Weinschenk, research engineer and a data wizard. Together we venture into the world of fire research carried together with firefighters, with the critical goal of saving firefighter lives and reducing the damage caused by fire. Join us to learn how the largest full-scale fire experiments are...
Published 02/02/22
Building a fire-safe future is not an easy task. Including sustainability in that build, is even harder. But how hard is it to include fire safety in the discussion, when sustainability itself is a goal? Does sustainability even exist when fire safety is excluded? I think we have learned the hard way that that is not an option. Yet, so often dangerous innovations are introduced without consulting with fire experts. In this episode, we delve into this important and difficult matter with prof....
Published 01/26/22
There are topics in fire science that gain more attention than others. Timber in fire. Batteries. Facades. They are novel, complex, challenging and yet as engineers, we must handle them in our everyday job. But are they important? If we could create an unbiased measure of *importance* of a subject, would they get on top of the list? I'm sure they wouldn't, but I'm pretty sure the subject of today's episode would rank on the very top of that list. Danielle Antonellis is a founder of a...
Published 01/19/22
Have you ever heard about the hot smoke testing approach? If you had, there is a great chance you have not heard anything positive about it... From our experience, this method is often downplayed as useless, unrealistic and inconclusive. While to some extent you have to agree with the limitations, in Poland we have found a way how to turn this theatrical tool into a powerhouse of engineering. And this episode is all about this. I have invited two FSE's - Janusz Paliszek and Piotr Smardz of...
Published 01/12/22
Welcome to the final episode of this year! I hope you all had a great year. For me, it was probably the most challenging, and the most rewarding year of my whole professional career. Join me in this episode recollecting the things that have happened in the show, and bringing back some of my favourite episodes of the show.   Check out the topical collections at the podcast website: https://www.firescienceshow.com/ For the next two weeks, I'm on a break with my family, so the next episode will...
Published 12/22/21
Can water mist be used in tunnels? I wondered that for a long time, and with every tunnel project, many questions around this issue were piling in my head. When dealing with large infrastructure projects you really need to work your way around multiple functional aspects of a system - maintenance, water and power consumption,  drainage capacity, availability of elements and their certification... You would love to focus purely on the fire safety aspect of the issue, but you cannot....
Published 12/15/21
If you ever had anything to do with Fire Safety Engineering, you have most likely touched the visibility in smoke. What's an easier way to explain how bad the conditions are inside of a building than saying how much smoke was there? And what's a better way to define smoke than saying how far can you see? It's brilliant. We have agreed (unwillingly, somewhere in the '60s) that if visibility is kept at a good'ish level of 10 m or more, conditions inside are fine.  And we know how to calculate...
Published 12/08/21
This is not a fun episode. It starts with a tragedy, that fueled a whole field of research. Continues into disbelief, that one aspect of fire safety can be at the same chosen as the sole foundation of fire safety within a branch of engineering, and at the same time at a pretty low, clearly insufficient level... And then comes the true shocker - solutions exist and we just don't use them. Because of, who knows why. An unknown force... Ok, I have spoiled you a bit, but it is absolutely worth...
Published 12/01/21
Have you ever been fascinated by the capabilities of AI? Did you wonder how the heck can an algorithm beat humans in repetitive tasks? Or make multi-level correlations that we would never be able to figure out? I was as well. And I felt the urge to learn more about this technology, in a way to not be left out when everyone plays with their new toys... But at the same time, I felt this feeling of overwhelm and confusion about this technology. What exactly is it, where to start... Then the wall...
Published 11/24/21
If you have ever learned about the compartment fire dynamics framework, have tried zone modelling or any kind of fire modelling, you have probably noticed that as the compartments get bigger, the less uniform conditions inside are. At some size, the flashover or a "single-zone" model theories just break, MQH equation does not give a reasonable solution and the fire seems not capable of growing to a huge size... But yet, they destroy buildings. Local fire exposure may be damaging to structural...
Published 11/17/21