The main purpose of this report is to propose a particular fire strategy plan for a student hub building. The strategy plan should fulfill the following points:
1. Fire escape plan in case of fire emergency.
2. Risk assessment plan in case of fire situation.
3. Principle of the law relating the fire safety and compliance with fire safety regulations.
The building will be subjected to the following pieces of legislation:
* Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) order 2005.
The following regulation is approved and applied on the design of the Student Hub Fire Strategy plan:
* 16 B, The Building and Approved Inspectors (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2006, Building and approved inspectors regulations 2006 which is specified in the following:
1. B1, Means of warning and escape.
2. B2, Internal Fire Spread (linings).
3. B3, Fire spread (structure).
4. B4, External Fire Spread.
5. B5, Access and facilities for the fire service.
Means of Escape:
In order for the Student Hub to achieve the requirement of B1, the building should contain several well located routes with sufficient capacity. The routes should be well lit, with easy exist pathways and protected from the effects of fire. Early fire warnings should also be available in order to allow a quick escape.
In order to design a suitable escape plan, several points should be taken in to notice:
* Nature of building structure.
* Use of building.
* Materials stored in the building.
* The predicted sources of fire and how will it spreads.
* Standard of fire safety proposed.
Design for the horizontal escape:
The overall aim of this section is to design a plan from which a person could follow a route to escape from the hazardous area as quick as possible. The route should be short, simple and noticeable.
High rated fire areas should be equipped with either heat or smoke alarm for quicker fire response, except that, the rest areas could be equipped with manual alarm switch.
Escape routes should be properly lit with a clear and noticeable signs to the exits for faster and proper safe escape. Evacuation plan must also be practiced. It will be discussed further more in the report.
Note that all the open areas in all the floor levels will be treated as one zone due to the atrium void which links to all of them.
As shown in the figure (fig1), the ground floor of the building contains the following main sections:
1. Quiet Study.
2. Toilets Male & Female.
3. Information system staff. (high fire rated)
4. Self Service issue. (high fire rated)
5. Video Editing & post Grad IT.
Each area must have a specific escape plan depending on its location and estimated number of persons inside. Each exist must withstand the flow of the people through it depending the area's population. Furthermore detailed explanation will be given on each area.
As mentioned in the fire safety building regulations, [this area is considered as an area with seating in rows and more than one direction] 1. Thus, the maximum travel distance to travel 4 exits is 32 meters which is acceptable shown in the figure (fig1) where it shows the paths to the available there are 3 exits for this area.
For the number of persons per exit, the exits are considered double door which gives a minimum of 850 mm door width. As per building regulation, this width gives an escape for 110 persons, multiply this by 3 which is the number of exits, gives us a total of 330 persons. Buy this number it's clearly concludes the acceptability of the system.
Toilets Male & Female:
Logically speaking, the maximum capacity for this area will not exceed 20 persons. Hence, one exit path is more than enough with an alternative route in case the primer one is blocked. As per table (table1), the maximum travel distance should be no more than 18 meter for one direction. This distance is fairly suitable for one exit only.
Information System Staff & Self Service Issue:
Both of this area should be considered as one since that they are separated by a semi partition wall, not full. The exit there is fairly simple. The door exit could withstand a rushing capacity of 110 persons which is acceptable as this area will not exceed that amount of people. The maximum required distance to travel based on table (table1) is around 15 meters. This distance is not exceeded on the escape plan.
This area is the simplest one of all due to the availability of the staircase right next to the room.
This floor is a little complicated as it contains more partitions and routes. The over all plan consists of the following areas:
1. Social Learning / Impulse Snack.
2. Meeting / Video Interference.
3. 5 X Group Study Rooms.
4. Lecture Theatre 1 & 2.
5. LV Switch room / Water Booster Room. (high fire rated)
6. Toilets Male & Female.
7. Student Service & learning & teaching Support Staff. (high fire rated)
8. 7 X Counseling / Interview Rooms.
Social Learning / Impulse Snack:
Lecture theatre 1 & 2:
As mentioned in the meeting interference room, the theatre is treated with a separate fire zone class thus sealing the area with the appropriate precautions including the projection room.
Group Study & counseling rooms:
LV Switch room / Water Booster Room:
LV switch room is the most concerning in this floor, thus, highly safety measures must be taken in to place. Full sealing of the area with cavity barriers and a proper fire sensor sprinkler system is a must with a smoke fan equipped in case of emergency. The cavity barrier will prevent the fire from spreading to other areas while the sprinkler system will set off and try to put it out. Exhaust fans will commence with the sprinkler system in order to create a negative pressure in the room thus stopping the smoke from escaping out.
Meeting and video interference:
This room although should be treated as a separate fire rating zone and must be sealed from the others by cavity barriers and separate exhaust fans.
Student Service & learning & Teaching Support Staff:
For this floor, there are not that much concerns regarding the stair case exits as it is on the ground level. The only thing to worry about is the highly fire rated rooms.
1. Dining / social learning / flexible space.
2. Café / social learning / flexible space.
3. Student reception.
4. Main dining / fueling area.
5. Kitchen. (high fire rated)
6. Lecture theatre 1 & 2.
7. W.C Male & Female.
For the kitchen, the area should be equipped with a separate exit path in order to avoid any fire distribution by access doors. This is accomplished through the designated kitchen entry; it's wide enough for the escaping population in case of fire escape.
Special fire detecting system is required. Also, the area should be equipped with an appropriate fire sprinkler system and smoke exhaust fans.
The only vertical escape means are through the fire stairs. It's clearly shown that there are four emergency staircases with a width of 1.3 meters. Each stair is equipped by a double door entrance and exit. The stair features are fairly acceptable to be used as fire exit.
The stair case should come with fire fighting resistant conditions and must be fully sealed from the hub as it could be used as a temporary shelter in case of fire hazard.
Regarding the lifts, it should be noted that elevators are completely prohibited in case of fire scenario and only fire stairs are used. Thus, the system requires an elevator control system which in case of fire descends the elevators and shutdown so it won't be used again by the escaping population.
Vertical escape means should also suitable for the disabled as they require more time and effort. Wherever it possible, ramps should be available within the staircase for quick escape by the disabled, if not, then special equipments is needed to transport them safely to exit. The escaping population should also be responsible for aiding the disabled.
Risk Assessment plan:
[Fire Risk Assessment is a procedure for estimation and evaluation of fire risk that addresses appropriate fire scenarios and their probabilities and consequences, using one or more acceptability thresholds. “fire hazard analysis” like terms are mainly used to refer to analyses of one or more scenarios without consideration of probability or frequency. Actual harm involves not only a hazard, but exposure to the hazard] 3.
The outcome concluded from the risk analysis is appropriate measures to hinder or protect identified hazards.
The primary step of the fire risk assessment is determining the scope of the risk assessment as this step defines the goals and boundaries of the assessment. The scope should start with a description of the project goals, standard goals could be:
* Meeting the requirements of the code or insurance for acceptable level of risk.
* Reduce or avoid of injuries human fatalities and any environmental damages.
* Improving risk prevention cost.
* Reduce any business interruption.
The aim of hazard acknowledgement is to modify development of scenarios that produce undesirable impacts, followed by selection of scenarios for use in assessment.
The hazard will normally be more specifically definable as a physical or chemical state when it concerns a physical object.
Heat & Fuel sources:
[That could be any object that emits enough heat to ignite combustibles, depending combustibility is by that fact an initiating hazard, having potential to initiate an unwanted fire.
Type of initiating hazard is titled by a type of initial fuel source and the condition of that fuel. Any item capable of being ignited by a heat source is an initiating hazard due to the potential to initiate an unwanted fire] 6.
The primer task in determining whether or not a risk is acceptable is comparing the calculated risk, including treatment of uncertainty in tools, methods and data, to the level of risk that was determined to be acceptable.
[If risk analysis shows that the risk is clearly not acceptable, then changes will need to take place in order to make the risk acceptable] 6. This could be done by either:
1. Reduce risk. Possible ways of doing so include providing additional protection, removing hazards, or physically quarantining protected areas from either hazards or each other so that the consequences resulting from a hazard are reduced.
2. Revisit risk acceptability threshold. In some cases, project limitations, such as budget limitations.
If the analysis is not clear showing that the risk is either acceptable or unacceptable, then it will be necessary to refine the risk analysis. This can be preformed by taking these actions:
1. Reduce the uncertainties, whether by increasing the amount of data used or using a data with less uncertainty.
2. If simple risk analysis methods were used, then more detailed methods could be explored.
3. If simple methods were used to estimate consequences, then more sophisticated methods should be explored.
If the risk evaluation cannot be modified, the risk should not be accepted and the methods in section should be explored.
Fire safety law and regulations:
[The aim of the fire safety law is to advance the fire-safety environment for the benefit of all persons within the area, to avoid all existing relevant by -laws and to provide procedures and methods to regulate fire safety within the concerned area] 5.
FIRE PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS:
Starting with the divisions, any modification or altering of the divisions is strictly prohibited by the owner or person in charge of a building as it will render or reduce its effectiveness in avoiding open flames, combusted products from collapsing into the adjacent compartment or structure.
Regarding the fire door and assembly, it must be installed in such a way that in case of fire scenario, the door should withstand the fire for the required time period. A fire door could be kept open if it is equipped with an approved automatic releasing device. A fire door and assembly should not be altered by the means of the following:
1. Changing the integrity, insulation or stability the door.
2. Disconnecting the automatic self-closing mechanism.
3. Blocking or obstructing the door path way so that it cannot close.
4. Disconnecting electric or electronic release mechanism.
Escape routes usually includes:
* Feeder routes.
* Access doors.
* Emergency routes.
* Escape doors.
Any of these components must not be obstructed in such way that could slow or stop the escape of any person from a building in the case of any emergency scenario. An escape route must be clearly indicated with signs where required by the controlling authority indicating the direction of travel in the event of fire or any other emergency.
[The owner or person in charge of the premises must hand in an application for a population certificate to the controlling authority before any usage of the premises. Thus, the authority may instruct the owner or person in charge to apply for either a temporary or a permanent population certificate, depending on the purpose of premises] 5. For the student hub building, usually the temporary population certificate is required as the number of people in the building is not steady with time. A temporary population certificate is only valid for no more than 30 days and its only valid for the specific premises for which it was issued in. therefore, when changes of occupancy occur or alterations are made to the premises, the owner then must reapply for the certificate. It's the owner job to avoid any overcrowding by limiting the population to that which is specified on the temporary or permanent population certificate. Thus any extra persons must leave the overcrowded premises when instructed by the controlling authority or the owner.
Emergency evacuation plan:
[The owner or person in charge must formulate an emergency evacuation plan showing the appropriate action to be taken by the staff or the occupants in case of fire or other threatening hazard] 5.
The emergency evacuation plan must be tested every six-months or in case of a revised plan. Records of the testing must be kept in a register containing the following information:
(a) Date and time of the test.
(b) Outcome of the test and actions required.
(c) Number of participants.
(d) The supervisor name and signature of the test.
1. Great Britain. The building regulations 2000, Fire safety Approved Document B. London: Stationary office 2006.
2. Jaffari, A. Coles, J. & Anderson, R. “Risk Assessment on the Development Projects: The Case of Lost opportunities,” Australian Institute of Building Papers, 1995.
3. Klein, R.A. “Risk Assessment: An Exercise In Applied Common Sense.” Fire Engineering Journal, January, 1996.
4. Johnson, M. W. “Fundamentals of Safe Building Design,” The NFPA Fire Protection Handbook, 19th Ed., National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, 2003.
5. http://admin.sun.ac.za/usbd/Firesafby-law.pdf, SFPE Engineering Guideto Application of Risk Assessment in Fire Protection Design, accessed on (22 Jan 2010)
6. www.sfpe.org/upload/risk_guide.pdf BY-LAW RELATING TO COMMUNITY FIRE SAFETY accessed on (5 Feb 2010)