Andy Blum
Andrew Blum, P.E., CFEI
Managing Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Atlanta

Mr. Blum applies fire protection engineering principles including fire dynamics, smoke management, flame spread, fluid mechanics and fire modeling to origin and cause investigations involving fires, explosions, and other engineering failures or thermal events. Mr. Blum has investigated losses in residential homes and commercial kitchens, as well as larger losses in a variety of storage, manufacturing, food processing, power generation, high-rise hotel, apartment, condominium, and commercial facilities.

Those investigations included losses involving propane, natural gas, and solid-fuel burning appliances and systems, heaters, fireplaces, chimneys, mechanical and HVAC equipment, CSST, boilers, pressure vessels/autoclaves, manufacturing processes, welding and hot work operations, self-heating materials, scalds, burns, and thermal injuries, textile garments and clothing, firefighter PPE and electronic safety equipment, consumer products and appliances, freezers and refrigerators, candles, upholstered furniture, mattresses, utilities, electronics, electrical systems and lighting, photovoltaic systems, residential and commercial cooking equipment, spray booths, and automotive and rail vehicles.

Mr. Blum also applies fire protection engineering principles to the prevention of fires, explosions, and other engineering failures or thermal events. He has knowledge of fire detection system, suppression system, smoke management system, and passive fire protection system design, installation, and maintenance, and provides consultation on their evaluation in a building’s overall life safety analysis. In addition, Mr. Blum has investigated numerous losses related to the failure of or the inadvertent operation of fire suppression and fire detection systems. He also has special expertise in the design review, installation, operation, evaluation, and third-party review of combustion systems and flame effects.

Mr. Blum has both small and large-scale fire testing experience with nationally and internationally accepted standards (NFPA, ASTM, ISO, UL, and CFR) for research purposes, litigation support, R&D for product manufacturers, and product testing related to recalls. Mr. Blum has specific experience performing small to large-scale flammability tests on textiles, garments, polymers, and other building/product materials in general accordance with CFR 1610, 1615, 1616, UL94, ASTM E84 and ASTM E1354.

Prior to joining Exponent, Mr. Blum conducted fire sprinkler research at the University of Maryland in College Park, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, focusing on the atomization and spray dispersion for impinging jets and other complicated sprinkler configurations, which was funded by the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) and Factory Mutual (FM).

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • M.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, 2007
  • B.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, 2004
  • Principal Member: International Building Code – Fire Safety Code Development Committee, International Code Council (2015 to present)

    Member: ASTM International – Committee E05 on Fire Standards (2015 to present)

    Subcommittee Member: E05.15 Furnishings and Contents E05.21 Smoke and Combustion Products; E05.22 Surface Burning; E05.23 Combustibility; E05.33 Fire Safety Engineering

    Principal Member: Technical Committee on Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms and Household Fire Alarm Systems, NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code, National Fire Protection Association (2014 to present)

    Principal Member: Technical Correlating Committee on Professional Qualifications, NFPA 1000, NFPA 1001, NFPA 1002, NFPA 1003, NFPA 1005, NFPA 1006, NFPA 1021, NFPA 1026, NFPA 1031, NFPA 1033, NFPA 1035, NFPA 1037, NFPA 1041, NFPA 1051, NFPA 1061, NFPA 1071, NFPA 1072, NFPA 1081, NFPA 1091, NFPA 1521, National Fire Protection Association (2014 to present)

    Principal Member: Fire, Performance, Urban Wildland Interface Code Interpretation Committee (FCIC), International Code Council (2012 to 2014)

    Principal Member: Building/Life Safety Code Technical Committee on Fundamentals, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code; and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, National Fire Protection Association (2010 to present)

    Principal Member: Building/Life Safety Code Technical Committee on Board and Care Facilities, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code; and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, National Fire Protection Association (2009 to present)

    Principal Member: Automatic Sprinkler Research Planning Council, National Fire Protection Association (2009 to present)

    Principal Member: Technical Committee on Dry and Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems, NFPA 17, Standard for Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems; and NFPA 17A, Standard for Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems, National Fire Protection Association (2008 to present)

    Alternate Member: Technical Committee on Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms and Household Fire Alarm Systems, NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code, National Fire Protection Association (2012 to 2014)

    Alternate Member: Technical Committee on Hot Work Operations, NFPA 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention during Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work, National Fire Protection Association (2011 to present)

    Alternate Member: Technical Committee on Pre-Incident Planning, NFPA 1620, Recommended Practice for Pre-Incident Planning, National Fire Protection Association (2011 to present)

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Maryland, #37262

Licensed Professional Engineer, Georgia, #PE038300

Licensed Professional Engineer, Florida, #77221

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) National Certification Board per NFPA 921, August 2007, recertified August 2012

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Training, in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120, 1926.65

Occupational Health and Safety Fire Extinguisher Training, in accordance with OSHA regulation #1910-157

Publications

Long RT, Blum AF. Electric vehicle battery hazards: Hands on fire test data for emergency responders. Fire Protection Engineering Magazine, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, 2nd Quarter 2014, Issue 62 (accepted).

Blum AF, Long RT. Investigation of inadvertent automatic fire sprinkler system discharges. Subrogator Magazine, National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Winter 2011.

Long RT, Wu NP, Blum AF. Lessons learned from unsatisfactory sprinkler performance. Fire Protection Engineering Magazine, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, 4th Quarter 2010, Issue 48.

Ren N, Blum AF, Do C, Marshall AW. Atomization and dispersion measurements in fire sprinkler sprays. Atomization and Sprays, February 2010.

Blum AF. Discharge characteristics of canonical sprinkler sprays. Thesis Publication, University of Maryland at College Park, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, May 2007.

Selected Invited Presentations

Blum AF. Investigating water losses in fire sprinkler systems. National Association of Subrogation Professionals Webinar, July 2015 (accepted). 

Blum AF, Long, RT. Full-scale fire tests of electric drive vehicle batteries. Society of Automotive Engineers 2015 World Congress, April 2015 (accepted). 

Long RT, Blum AF. Suppressing lithium-ion electric drive vehicle battery fires with water. Society of Fire Protection Engineers Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SupDet), March 2015. 

Blum AF. Investigating water losses in fire sprinkler systems. National Association of Subrogation Professionals Georgia Chapter Meeting, October 2014. 

Blum AF, Long RT. Emergency response to incidents involving electric vehicle battery hazards: Full-scale testing results. International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology, September 2014. 

Blum AF. Fire sprinkler performance in large loss fire and explosion events. Society of Fire Protection Engineers’ 10th Annual Fire Safety Conference, March 2014. 

Long RT, Blum AF. Best practices for emergency response to incidents involving electric vehicle battery hazards, National Fire Protection Association’s Conference & Exposition, June 2013. 

Blum AF, Long RT, Keller E. Large loss fires and explosions and their connection to unsatisfactory fire sprinkler performance, National Fire Protection Association’s Conference & Exposition, June 2013. 

Blum AF, Long RT, Dillon SE. Investigating inadvertent automatic fire sprinkler system discharges. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 6th Forensic Engineering Congress, October 2012. 

Blum AF, Long RT, Wu NP, Dillon SE. Analyzing unsatisfactory fire sprinkler performance. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 6th Forensic Engineering Congress, October 2012. 

Blum AF, Long RT, Morrison III DR, Ogle RA, Dillon SE. Performing a high-rise life safety analysis: Lessons learned from the Cook County Administration Building fire. National Fire Protection Association’s Americas Fire and Security Expo (AFSE), July 2009. 

Ren N, Blum AF, Zheng Y, Do C, Marshall AW. Quantifying the initial spray from fire sprinklers. International Association of Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) 9th International Symposium Proceedings, Karlsruhe, Germany, September 2008. 

Marshall AW, Ren N, Blum AF, Wu D, Do C. Unraveling fire suppression sprays. 7th International Fire Sprinkler Conference and Exhibition Copenhagen, Denmark, June 2008. 

Blum AF. Discharge characteristics of canonical sprinkler sprays. Chesapeake Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Meeting, College Park, MD, May 2007. 

Marshall AW, Blum AF, Ren N. Development of an atomization model for fire suppression injectors. Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy, December 2006. 

Ren N, Blum AF, Wu D, Marshall AW. Characterizing the initial spray from fire suppression devices. International Mechanical Engineering Conference and Exposition (ASME), Chicago, IL, November 2006. 

Reports

Long RT, Blum AF, Bress TJ, Cotts, BRT. Best practices for emergency response to incidents involving electric vehicle battery hazards. Fire Protection Research Foundation Report, 2013.

Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops Attended

Gas Related Incident Investigations for Fire Investigators, Washington Gas and Maryland Fire and Explosive Investigators Association (MFEIA) seminar on natural gas, natural gas meters, regulators, transmission and distribution pipelines, natural gas-fired appliance connections and ventilation, testing of gas meters, regulators and gas-fired appliances, natural gas fire/explosion demonstrations and the response of fire investigators to potential gas-related fire or explosion incidents, March 21, 2012.

Commercial Cooking Equipment Workshop: The World of Fryers, Vulcan (a division of the ITW Food Equipment Group LLC) and Maryland Fire and Explosive Investigators Association (MFEIA) seminar on the design, operation, and maintenance of gas and electric fryers, October 5, 2011. 

Expert Vehicle Fire Investigation, International Association of Arson Investigators seminar on vehicle fire investigations, June 2, 2010.

Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, National Fire Protection Association seminar on the 2008 edition of NFPA 25, Standard on the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, October 9, 2009.

Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems, National Fire Protection Association seminar on the 2010 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, October 8, 2009.

Suppression Systems Seminar, Viking Corporation seminar and hands-on system training on wet, dry, deluge, foam, pre-action systems, March 9 and 10, 2009.

National Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation Seminar, National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) seminar on NFPA 921-2004 and fire investigation concepts, August 6-8, 2007.


Professional Affiliations

National Fire Protection Association – NFPA (Member)

Society of Fire Protection Engineers – SFPE (Affiliate)

International Association of Arson Investigators – IAAI (Member)

National Association of Fire Investigators – NAFI (Member)

National Fire Sprinkler Association – NFSA (Member)

International Code Council – ICC (Professional Member)

Metro Fire Investigator’s Association – MFIA (Member)

Georgia Fire Investigator’s Association – GFIA (Member)

Society of Fire Protection Engineers: Atlanta Chapter (Member)

ASTM International (Participating Member)


Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

Technical Reviewer

Technical Review, Fire and Materials Journal, 2013.

Project Panel Member, Obstructions and ESFR Sprinklers, The Fire Protection Research Foundation (2014 to present).

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • M.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, 2007
  • B.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, 2004
  • Principal Member: International Building Code – Fire Safety Code Development Committee, International Code Council (2015 to present)

    Member: ASTM International – Committee E05 on Fire Standards (2015 to present)

    Subcommittee Member: E05.15 Furnishings and Contents E05.21 Smoke and Combustion Products; E05.22 Surface Burning; E05.23 Combustibility; E05.33 Fire Safety Engineering

    Principal Member: Technical Committee on Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms and Household Fire Alarm Systems, NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code, National Fire Protection Association (2014 to present)

    Principal Member: Technical Correlating Committee on Professional Qualifications, NFPA 1000, NFPA 1001, NFPA 1002, NFPA 1003, NFPA 1005, NFPA 1006, NFPA 1021, NFPA 1026, NFPA 1031, NFPA 1033, NFPA 1035, NFPA 1037, NFPA 1041, NFPA 1051, NFPA 1061, NFPA 1071, NFPA 1072, NFPA 1081, NFPA 1091, NFPA 1521, National Fire Protection Association (2014 to present)

    Principal Member: Fire, Performance, Urban Wildland Interface Code Interpretation Committee (FCIC), International Code Council (2012 to 2014)

    Principal Member: Building/Life Safety Code Technical Committee on Fundamentals, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code; and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, National Fire Protection Association (2010 to present)

    Principal Member: Building/Life Safety Code Technical Committee on Board and Care Facilities, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code; and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, National Fire Protection Association (2009 to present)

    Principal Member: Automatic Sprinkler Research Planning Council, National Fire Protection Association (2009 to present)

    Principal Member: Technical Committee on Dry and Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems, NFPA 17, Standard for Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems; and NFPA 17A, Standard for Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems, National Fire Protection Association (2008 to present)

    Alternate Member: Technical Committee on Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms and Household Fire Alarm Systems, NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code, National Fire Protection Association (2012 to 2014)

    Alternate Member: Technical Committee on Hot Work Operations, NFPA 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention during Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work, National Fire Protection Association (2011 to present)

    Alternate Member: Technical Committee on Pre-Incident Planning, NFPA 1620, Recommended Practice for Pre-Incident Planning, National Fire Protection Association (2011 to present)

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Maryland, #37262

Licensed Professional Engineer, Georgia, #PE038300

Licensed Professional Engineer, Florida, #77221

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) National Certification Board per NFPA 921, August 2007, recertified August 2012

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Training, in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120, 1926.65

Occupational Health and Safety Fire Extinguisher Training, in accordance with OSHA regulation #1910-157