Effect of sprinklers on the patient's survival probability in hospital room fires

Simo Hostikka*, Eetu Veikkanen, Tuula Hakkarainen, Tuula Kajolinna, Terhi Kling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The effectiveness of sprinklers in protecting a patient in a hospital room fire was investigated by performing 26 sprinklered and four free-burn experiments in real hospital rooms equipped with water-based automatic suppression system. Three different fire loads were used: UL 1626 corner test fire and two different textile fires. The measurements included temperatures, pipe pressure, and concentrations of about 20 different gas compounds. Based on the measurement results, we calculated the Fractional Effective Dose (FED) and Fractional Irritant Concentration (FIC) –values, and estimated the likelihood of incapacitation as a function of time. The results showed that sprinklers maintained temperatures at low level and reduced toxicity, mainly through fire development control. In UL1626 and large textile fires, sprinklers decreased the patient's incapacitation probability from 0.9 or above to the level of 0.4. In small textile fires, the difference between the incapacitation probabilities of sprinklered fires and free-burns was less than the measurement uncertainty. FED results were sensitive to the calculation method due to the different treatment of NOx –gases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103092
Number of pages11
JournalFire Safety Journal
Early online date6 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • FED
  • Sprinklers
  • Suppression
  • Toxicity


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