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04.02.2020

Large Urban Fires in Japan: History and Management

Zeitschrift:
Fire Technology
Autoren:
Hideki Yoshioka, Keisuke Himoto, Koji Kagiya
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Wildland fires and wildland–urban interface (WUI) fires quite often become the focus of discussion among fire researchers whenever large outdoor fires are the topic, especially because of their global occurrence and their potential for causing serious damage. But at the same time, large urban fires have been occurring in Japan especially after major earthquakes or with high winds, at densely built urban area consisting of old wooden houses. Normally, fire spread is caused by three mechanisms: flame, radiation, and firebrands, especially in the cases of wildland fires, WUI fires, and large urban fires. And what is common between WUI fires and large urban fires is structure–structure fire spreading. In Japan, “Taika” (large urban fire) is a fire when the total burnout floor area is 33,000 m2 or more. The present paper first discusses the history of large urban fires in Japan, then examines the national standard regulations for fire safety in Japan aimed at mitigating the damage caused by those fires. Finally, an overview of current scientific research in methods of controlling urban fires in Japan is provided. This paper compiles such impotent information on large urban fires in Japan, which is the novelty and merit in this work. Furthermore, the contents in this paper will be contributing to the progress of new project ISO/TR 24188 on “Large outdoor fires and the built environment—Global overview of different approaches for standardization”, at ISO/TC92/WG14 “Large outdoor fires and the built environment”.

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