Fire Protection & Public Safety
WPI is a recognized as a world leader in fire protection engineering and research on firefighter effectiveness and safety. WPI faculty and students collaborate with national and international partners on research that helps shape how buildings are designed, what materials are used, the ways firefighters respond, and how products are developed and regulations defined. The state-of-the-art facilities in WPI's new Fire Protection Engineering Laboratory include a 2,000-square-feet burn-lab where researchers can conduct burns of structures as large as a two-story building. In the Combustion Laboratory, researchers study the fire safety hazards associated with portable gasoline containers and explosion risks of industrial dusts, among other topics. Recent research grants include a $1 million award from Homeland Security to study fire safety concerns of green buildings and a grant to develop a fire proof fire hose for firefighters.
Studying the Lofty Challenge of Fighting High-Rise Fires
Kathi Notarianni examines the efficacy of existing methods for fighting high-rise fires and evaluates new approaches to making it more effective and safer—including the use of elevators.