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Zone Computer Fire Models for Enclosures.

pdf icon Zone Computer Fire Models for Enclosures. (476 K)
Walton, W. D.

NFPA SFPE 95; LC Card Number 95-68247;

SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering. 2nd Edition. Section 3. Chapter 7, National Fire Protection Assoc., Quincy, MA, DiNenno, P. J.; Beyler, C. L.; Custer, R. L. P.; Walton, W. D., Editor(s), 3/148-151 p., 1995.


fire protection; fire protection engineering; zone models; fire models; computer models; predictive models; enclosures; computer programs


Computer programs are used in many areas of fire protection design, including suppression system design, smoke control system design, and egress analysis. The emphasis in this chapter is on zone computer fire models for enclosures. Zone fire models are computer programs designed to predict the conditions resulting from a fire in an enclosure. These models solve the equations based on the zone assumptions describing the fire-induced conditions within an enclosure. Computer fire models can provide a faster and more accurate estimate of the impact of a fire, and the measures used to prevent or control the fire, than many of the methods previously used. While manual calculation methods provide good estimates of specific fire effects (e.g., prediction of time to flashover), they are now well suited for comprehensive analyses involving the time-dependent interactions of multiple physical and chemical processes present in developing fires. The state of the art in computer fire modeling is changing rapidly. Understanding of the processes involved in fire growth is improving, and thus, the technical basis for the models is improving. The capabilities, documentation, and support for a given model can change dramatically over a short period of time. In addition, computer technology itself (both hardware and software) is advancing rapidly. A few years ago, a large mainframe computer was required to use most of the computer fire models. Today, all of the zone fire models can be run on personal computers. Therefore, rather than provide an exhaustive review of rapidly changing state-of-the-art available computer models, the following discussion will focus on a representative selection. The reader is guided to references 1 and 2 for a comprehensive review of computer fire models.