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Factors influencing ember accumulation near a building

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Background: Embers, also known as firebrands, are the leading cause of building ignition during wildland–urban fires. This is attributed both to direct ignition of material on, in, or attached to the building, and indirect ignition where they ignite vegetation or other combustible material near the building, which results in a radiant heat and/or direct flame contact exposure that ignites the building. Indirect ignition of a building can occur when embers accumulate on and ignite nearby combustible fuel, resulting in radiant heat or flame constant exposure. Aims/implications: Factors that influence ember accumulation near a building include building geometry, such as flat wall and re-entrant corners, building wind angle, wind speed and the surface roughness characteristics of the horizontal landscape close to the building. Methods: Experiments conducted at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Research Center using full-scale buildings with the above-mentioned factors provided a means to quantify ember accumulation on a mass per unit area basis. Key results: Ember accumulation was greatest at locations immediately adjacent to the building and higher wind speeds allowed more embers to reach the building. Conclusions: The work presented in this paper provides data and insight on wind-blown ember accumulation near a full-scale building.

S.L. Quarles; C. Standohar-Alfano; F. Hedayati; D.J. Gorham

Quarles SL, Standohar-Alfano C, Hedayati F, Gorham DJ. Factors influencing ember accumulation near a building. International Journal of Wildland Fire [Internet]. 2023 . Available from:

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