On Tuesday, I travelled to the outskirts of San Antonio: Schertz, TX, to be exact. There was held an SFPE event upon which smoke control testing was to be demonstrated.
The researchers in jump suits heated up smoke candles to produce over 100,000 cubic feet of smoke in order to form an upper smoke layer in the newly-built 350,000 square foot furniture warehouse. Three minutes of smoke-filling, then the vents are activated. The vents serve a primary purpose of controlling fire spread by removing superheated gases from the warehouse in the event of a fire. They also serve to clear the warehouse of smoke to help with tactical firefighting operations.