Letters to the Editor: August 2020

Firefighters texting at the kitchen table
ASTM E-119

I compliment Glenn Corbett on his article “Unlike Wine, Fire Tests Don’t Get Better with Age” (The Professor, Fire Engineering, April 2020). I happen to know that he is “right-on” concerning American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E-119 being out of touch with today’s fire loading and the hazards of modern wood construction and fire-rated components. We in the fire service know that the fire hazards we face today are “not your grandfather’s fires.”

I agree that the ASTM and Underwriters Laboratories need to reassess the fire rating methods. Recently, on a tour of the F.M. Global Research campus, I witnessed a series of tests that seem a little more realistic.

My late friend Frank Brannigan, author of Building Construction for the Fire Service, would be proud of Glenn’s championing this position, carrying on the tradition. As president of the Connecticut Fire Department Instructors Association (CFDIA), I have copied our members Matt Hunter, Northeast regional manager, American Wood Council, and Raymond O’Brocki, manager of fire service relations, American Wood Council. Both are welcome additions to the CFDIA and are extremely helpful. I have also copied Adam Hansen, a fire lieutenant in the Milford (CT) Fire Department, who has done graduate work and some legislative work for the CFDIA on building construction hazards.

Pete Buonome
Connecticut Fire Department Instructors Association

Paul Combs/Drawn by Fire

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