Ergonomic Evaluation of Pressure Limits for the Fire Water Supply for Physically Feasible and Safe Indoor Fire-fighting
Authors: Sandra Groos, Karsten Kluth
Abstract: So far, there exists no internationally uniform regulation about the pressure limits of water used for putting out fires in multi-story buildings and large properties. In order to prove whether the nozzles work most efficient and a fire can be extinguished safely and precisely, 12 professional fire-fighters carried out simulated fire-fighting procedures under nearly realistic conditions. Throughout the entire test, the electromyographic activity (EA) from 7 muscles of the right hand-arm-shoulder system and one muscle of the left arm was recorded. Additionally, a special questionnaire had to be filled in to evaluate the subjective experiences when handling the nozzles. The EA – standardized through MVCs (Maximum Voluntary Contractions) – exceeded the limit for short-term static work for 3 muscles, especially when the pressure was 0.8 MPa and higher. The subjective ratings confirmed the measured physiological responses. Based on these results, the operating pressure for the fire water supply should not exceed 0.6 MPa (as compromise 0.7 MPa), in order to ensure safe and precise fire-fighting, and that the nozzles work most efficient.
Keywords: Fire-fighting, Electromyography, Subjective Assessment, Physiological Responses, Muscular Strain, Hand-Arm-Shoulder System
Cite this paper: