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Fire Scenarios or Scenario Fires? Can Fire Safety Science Provide the Critical Inputs for Performance Based Fire Safety Analyses?


pdf icon Fire Scenarios or Scenario Fires? Can Fire Safety Science Provide the Critical Inputs for Performance Based Fire Safety Analyses? (1181 K)
Brannigan, V. M.

Fire Safety Science. Proceedings. Sixth (6th) International Symposium. International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS). July 5-9, 1999, Poitiers, France, Intl. Assoc. for Fire Safety Science, Boston, MA, Curtat, M., Editor(s), 207-218 pp, 2000.

Sponsor:

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Keywords:

fire research; fire safety; fire science; scenarios; performance based codes; fire risk; regulations; uncertainty; fire models

Abstract:

Performance based codes promise to use modern engineering tools to satisfy the social goal of fire safety. Social fire safety goals can include life safety, property protection, or even requirements for redundant systems. But current proposals for performance based codes do not contain any technical method for connecting engineering designs to social goals. As a result, designers, not society, have been setting the key technical inputs, in particular designers have proposed that performance based solutions should only deal with a design fire, rather than providing the promised overall safety. This change allows designers substantial freedom, but at the cost of shifting key decisions on safety from public to private hands. Performance based codes will require a method for specifying the social requirements for fire safety in useable engineering terms, and enforcing those requirements on the building as completed.