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Describes an ASHRAE research project (RP-559) to investigate the performance of various methods of overpressure relief for stair pressurisation systems. The project was in four phases - 1) a literature review, 2, field tests, 3) fire tower tests and 4) computer model studies. The types of overpressure relief systems investigated were exit door relief, barometric damper relief and feedback control, either with fan bypass, a variable pitch blade fan or a variable speed fan. A related ASHRAE research project (RP-660) was conducted to determine the critical air velocities required to prevent smoke backflow at a stair door opening for various fire conditions. Uses the results of these two projects to assess the performance of stair pressurisation systems, and makes recommendations for their suitable application.

KEYWORDS: Research, performance, stairs, pressurised stairs, pressurization, smoke, fire, smoke ventilation

Citation: ASHRAE Trans. 1992, vol.98, part 1, paper number 3549 (RP-559), 66-72, 5 figs, 1 tab, refs.