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Fire Risk or Fire Hazard as the Basis for Building Fire Safety Performance Evaluation. [Fire Risk or Fire Hazard - Building Fire Safety.]


pdf icon Fire Risk or Fire Hazard as the Basis for Building Fire Safety Performance Evaluation. [Fire Risk or Fire Hazard - Building Fire Safety.] (748 K)
Bukowski, R. W.

Paper 18;

Institut de Securite. Fire Safety Conference on Performance Based Concepts. Proceedings. October 15-17, 1996, Zurich, Switzerland, 18/1-10 pp, 1996.

Keywords:

fire safety; fire codes; building codes; standards; life safety; performance codes; risk assessment; scenarios; fire risk assessment

Abstract:

Nearly every developed country has committed to the goal of a performance-based code by early in the next century. Most have expressed interest in the use of fire risk assessment as the means to judge performance against the code's explicit objectives. The fact that risk can never be eliminated may lead to the public perception that officials feel a few deaths are somehow acceptable. Risk of financial loss is easier to understand but is difficult to apply to life safety concerns without becoming embroiled in the value of life. Since a rigorous risk assessment is computationally intense and requires a vast amount of historical data that is frequently not collected, most analyses conducted in support of performance evaluation are hazard assessments. These measure performance in a specified set of conditions which are presumed to represent the principal threats. Since experience has shown that the worst fires are the result of many things going wrong together, it is desirable to account for situations characterized by multiple failures in providing for the safety of the public. The purpose of this paper is to identify research issues to be addressed by international programs such as the CIB W14 Task Group on Engineering Evaluation of Building Fire Performance.