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Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2010

The smoke control systems designers must follow approved technical guidance to ensure that engineered smoke control systems meet a broad range of hazardous fire conditions requirements. The primary objectives of smoke control systems are to maintain smoke-free and tenable conditions within protected escape routes, assist firefighting operations by maintaining tenable conditions for firefighters, delay or prevent the onset of flashover and further fire development, and reduce smoke damage to the building and its contents. System operation while in the evacuation mode would attempt to maintain tenable conditions in escape routes (corridors) affected by smoke. The limited research that has gone into the development of modern powered smoke extract systems for the protection of common areas in flats includes computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and small-scale/full-scale well-ventilated fire tests. Source

Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2011

Paul Grimwood examines the implications of the risk of fire gases in a corridor igniting as firefighters access a residential apartment for smoke ventilation design and fire service tactics. These risks have been highlighted in a modeling study conducted to address these problems and find solutions. The study has used data that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) produced for a computer model of an apartment fire in New York City. The apartment fire has grown to about 500kW over 5 minutes simulation time in the NIST model and rapidly throttled back as the oxygen concentration drops below 10%. Temperatures in the apartment have peaked briefly at about 300°C and rapidly drops below 100°C as the burning rate falls. Source

Smith S.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2011

Kent Fire and Rescue Service's Fire Investigation and Research Team (KFRS FIRT) has become aware of fires where hidden domestic LPG has been a factor, either as the origin of the fire, or a contributor to the speed or intensity of fire spread. Application of pressure liquefies LPG vapors at their specific critical pressure and below their critical temperature, reducing the volume of the substances and allowing them to be stored in a pressurized container as a liquid. Due to their thermal qualities, plastics such as polystyrene and polyethylene are used in their solid form as a heat insulation lining for refrigerators and freezers. LPGs are flammable hydrocarbons and their release to atmosphere near an ignition source will lead to combustion, provided the fuel is within its flammable limits when mixed with air. If LPGs are released to atmosphere and a fire already exists, the fuel potentially exacerbates the combustion process, making the situation much worse. Source

Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2011

There are unusual air dynamics associated with fire spread in tall buildings that demand additional risk control measures to be in place prior to intervention occurring. It is certain that, in some cases, the water available from the rising mains is now being outpaced by the speed and extent of fire development and that extended fire service intervention times may even see existing fire-resistance levels surpassed in some situations. One of the most concerning issues for the fire and rescue service associated with tall building design is that of glass curtain walls. It is common for architects and fire engineers to rely on the text within the Building Regulations to demonstrate their designs meet the functional requirements. A distinct trend is emerging where many local authority building control byelaws are now stipulating that minimum external glazing dimensions of 25-30% of floor area served should be provided. Source

Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service | Sanderson I.A.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service | Sanderson I.A.,Glasgow Caledonian University
Fire Safety Journal | Year: 2014

This paper describes research by Glasgow Caledonian University into fire-fighting water flow-rates as actually deployed to control and suppress >5000 building fires that occurred in two fire authority jurisdictions in the UK between 2009 and 2012. One fire service covered a large county suburban risk area with low to medium populated areas, whilst the other covered a large metropolitan region with heavily populated inner city areas included. Using data from the national IRS fire reporting framework (UK Fire & Rescue Service National Incident Recording System), it was demonstrated that there are critical links between the amounts of water used/required for effective fire-fighting in relation to the occupancy type, the density of the fire load, the estimated heat release from compartment fires and the extent of fire damage that may impact on the building and its contents. Comparisons are made to similar research undertaken previously in the UK that estimated water carried to the scene by fire engines (1800 l in the literature) was generally adequate in dealing with building fires on 86% of occasions. Interestingly, some fifty years later, the County/Metro research reported in this paper demonstrates that just 64% of fires are currently dealt with using the 1800 l on-board water provision provided by a single fire response vehicle, although the source of data representation may be different. A deployed flow-rate between 6 and 12 LPM/m2 per 100 m2 of fire involvement was generally observed in the current study and the variance was mainly relative to occupancy type. An existing design methodology for fire-fighting water provisions is then held in comparison to the County/Metro flow-rate data, demonstrating close correlations with this extensive empirical research. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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