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Status of Performance Fire Codes in the USA.

pdf icon Status of Performance Fire Codes in the USA. (805 K)
Snell, J. E.

VTT-Technical Research Center of Finland and Forum for International Cooperation in Fire Research. Nordic Fire Safety Engineering Symposium. Development and Verification of Tools for Performance Codes. August 30-September 1, 1993, Espoo, Finland, 1-9 pp, 1993.


fire safety; safety engineering; codes; fire codes; regulations


The purpose of this paper is to report on the status of performance fire codes in the United States. The bottom line is that construction related research and development in the USA are seeking to guide the construction industry through the same transformation manufacturing industry is experiencing. This involves exploiting advances in science and technology, and modern concepts of manufacturing quality to assure life cycle quality and performance. For fire safety, this means engineering fire safety into products and buildings and providing means to assure that a facility is safe in use. This can not be done using traditional regulatory methods, nor accomplished by national edict. Rather, creative partnerships between industry, government and academe are needed to devise new strategies and engineering tools; and international scale research and cooperation are needed for development and implementation of global standards and conformity assessment systems. After briefly describing the context for building and fire safety regulation in the USA, the status of development and implementation of performance-based fire safety engineering practices is discussed. The paper concludes with some observations about critical conditions for success of fire safety engineering and its application to building fire safety regulation.