FIRE SAFETY ENGINEERING
The mathematical and chemical modeling of a “potential” building fire using an international guideline – The International Fire Engineering Guidelines 2005 (IFEG2005)
Modeling of fire growth and smoke propagation is undertaken using computer software and/or manual calculations. The toxicity of the smoke is determined by the determining the chemical reaction of building materials during the heating process.
The primary purpose of fire engineering (a fire safety engineer) is to demonstrate that a building has adequate provision to ensure the life safety of the occupants.
To quantify the life safety of the occupants a Fire Safety Engineer would normally undertake an ASET v RSET assessment as a minimum submission in a Fire Engineering Report (FER)
ASET – Available Safe Egress Time – The time available before part of the building becomes untenable (cannot sustain life)
RSET – Required Safe Egress Time – The time it will take for all of the occupants to safely evacuate the building. An RSET time line considers the number and type of occupants, their mobility, travel distances and available escape routes.
A conservative safety factor is always required.
Smoke layer height, density and toxicity are the primary factors that impact on the ability of people to evacuate a building where a fire event may occur.
Statistical information from recognized sources is utilized to determine human behavior and response times to fitted smoke alarms and/or strobes in a modeled evacuation.
The Fire Brigade is the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) where a fire engineering solution is required for building approval.
During the initial stages the key stakeholders will agree on a potential fire/s (Fire Scenario/s) for modeling. The model fire or model fires are normally referred to as “worst credible fire scenario/s”.