Underwriters Laboratories

In the fall of 2009 Under Writers Laboratories was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The scope of the grant was to conduct 10 full scale live fire tests on legacy and light weight floor systems. The purpose was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the various systems and their effect on building stability and fire fighter safety. The Board of Fire and Life Safety (BFLS) had established its self as a supporter of this type of research through other projects conducted with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

By the summer of 2010 an agreement was signed with UL for the construction of two 20' by 40' concrete foundations and 10 floor assemblies. Beginning in mid October teams from UL and NIST began the installation of the instrumentation and recording systems to document the results of the tests. The Training Center staff and Community Service were responsible for the construction of 10 floor assemblies, demolition, removal of debris and moving the top structure utilizing a 100 ton crane. The first test was conducted October 27, 2010 and the 10th test completed on November 5, 2010.

In addition to contributing a substantial amount of information to benefit the fire service this research formed the foundation for a free online training program hosted by UL University. To date the online program has been used by thousands of emergency responders across the globe. It has also provided valuable information used by instructors delivering training to the fire service.