Fire risk analysis of residential buildings based on scenario clusters and its application in fire risk management.
Building fire risk analysis is a process of understanding and characterizing the fire hazards, the unwanted outcomes that may result from the fire, and the probabilities of fire and unwanted outcomes occurring. The purpose is to evaluate and make a decision about the level of fire risk to determine whether to take appropriate risk management measures or not. Therefore, building fire risk analysis serves as a basis for fire risk management. In the paper, scenario clusters are constructed in the process of building fire risk analysis, and the number of deaths and directive property loss are selected as building fire risk indexes. Finally, the average fire risk of residential buildings is quantified in detail. With the types of detailed fire risk models developed here, fire risk management measures could be taken to improve the building fire safety grading and reduce fire risk levels and subsequent damage.
Fire is crucial for the development of human society, and it has become an important part of human civilization. Among different types of disasters, fire constitutes a significant threat to life and property in urban and rural areas. According to the data offered by Fire Service Bureau, Ministry of Public Security, in 2011, a total of 125,417 fires were reported in mainland China, 1108 civilian deaths, 571 civilian injuries, and 2057 million Yuan (RMB) direct property losses. Building fires, especially residential fires, remain a critical concern as 52,661 fires or 39.7% of all fires occurred in residential buildings, resulting in direct property damage of approximately 309 million Yuan (RMB), 853 civilian deaths and 347 civilian injuries. Society has responded to the threat of fire in buildings in many ways, including fire department intervention, insurance, building regulations, education on fire hazards, controls on the use of materials and products in buildings, and the design of buildings to resist the effects of fire. A growing concern in China is how to take appropriate fire risk management measures in buildings, prevent and control potential fire accidents, reduce the casualties and losses of accidents, and ensure building fire safety.
This definition of risk management used in the paper has been adopted from ISO 31000:2009. According to the definition, risk management includes risk assessment and risk treatment, and the different stages in fire risk management procedures are illustrated in Fig. 1. The risk assessment of a system consists of the use of all available information to estimate the risk to individuals or populations, property or the environment, from identified hazards, the comparison with targets, and the search for optimal solutions. Fire risk assessment in buildings comprises three steps of fire risk identification, fire risk analysis, and fire risk evaluation. Fire risk identification is the systematic process to understand how, when, and why fire could happen.
Fire risk analysis of residential buildings is the process of estimating magnitudes of consequence and probabilities of the adverse effects resulting from fire in a building. The end result of fire risk analysis is expressed either in qualitative, mixed or quantitative terms depending on the type of risk, the purpose of risk analysis, how detailed the analysis is to be and the information resources available. Fire risk evaluation then involves applying the developed risk criteria and making a decision about the level of fire risk. Fire risk treatment is the process of improving existing risk controlling measures, developing new risk controlling measures and implementing these measures to reduce fire risk. Therefore, fire risk analysis is only one part of fire risk management process, and it serves as the foundation of regulatory decision-making on whether to take actions to reduce risk or choose appropriate risk treatment measures or not. Research related to fire risk analysis is, therefore, critical and essential.
With development of performance-based design, some studies have been conducted on fire risk analysis in buildings from different perspectives and levels. Models such as FiRECAM and FiERAsystem were used to calculate the expected life risk. In other studies probabilistic methods have been used to assess levels of people safety in buildings.
Quantitative risk analysis approaches have also been used to quantify the risk to occupants using stochastic factors. However, studies to date have largely been concerned with various aspects of fire risk analysis and there has been little in the way of development of systematic theoretical methods for analyzing fire risk in buildings in terms of fire risk management. Existing Fire risk analysis of residential buildings involves the identification of alternative fire safety design options, the ongoing inspection, maintenance of fire protection systems and evacuation training and drills. In this study, basic process of fire risk analysis in building is described, and a fire risk analysis model based on scenario clusters is established with consideration of the characteristics of fire dynamics and occupants’ behavior. The number of deaths and directive property loss are selected as fire risk indices and the average fire risk of residential buildings is quantitatively analyzed, so that appropriate fire risk management measures can be adopted.
This is an extract from the Fire Safety Journal, for more details and the full article visit sciencedirect.com