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28-11-2019 | Issue 4/2020

Fire Technology 4/2020

A Study of the Time of Day and Room of Fire Origin for Dwelling Fires

Journal:
Fire Technology > Issue 4/2020
Authors:
Michael Spearpoint, Charlie Hopkin
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Abstract

In defining a fire scenario for residential buildings, designers may need to consider the room of origin and temporal factors such as the time of day, day of the week, etc. that a fire may occur. It is commonly accepted that statistics from fire incidents can be used to help determine these factors. This paper examines fire incident data available from the West Midlands Fire Service in England to assess the likelihood of a fire starting within different room types in dwellings, accounting for both the property type and the time of day. Results of the analysis are compared to data available from the literature and, similar to other studies, kitchen fires have been found to be the most likely place that a fire starts irrespective of the dwelling type. The paper pays particular interest to fires in flats (apartments) since these dwelling types typically have a greater relevance to fire safety designers. The paper shows that fires in flats should be treated separately from other dwelling types where the likelihood of a fire starting in a kitchen is 76% on average compared to 68% in other dwelling types. Further differences are evident when the likelihoods are considered as a function of the time of day and other room types. The paper ultimately provides analysis from previously unexamined incident data which can be used to aid designers of residential buildings that comprise of dwellings, when considering fire safety strategies.

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