Qualitative and quantitative fire hazard analyses
The Monte Carlo technique allows us to consider how likely certain events are to occur in relation to each other (for example, the effect of fire load to the activity of the fire fighters).
Risk analysis is helpful when
- estimating the arrival time of rescue services
- determining likely flaws in the function of active fire safety equipment
- calculating fire frequency
- determining design fire scenarios
- determining the criteria to approve fire safety plans
- analysing personal safety
- estimating the value of expected property damage
Fire hazards and their management plans
Managing fire hazards is an integral part in any property’s risk analysis. We analyse and observe potential risks and suggest how to eliminate them. We examine i.e. evacuation plans, passive and active fire safety equipment, hazardous equipment, hot works, daily activities and external risks.
Fire simulation software can model the behaviour of fires, fire safety equipment and risks caused by fires.
Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is a software tailored for fire simulation that utilises the mass flow turbulence model to model most common fire scenarios such as fires in rooms, pools and tunnels. In addition, the software considers the impact of active fire prevention, such as sprinklers. Fire temperatures and the height of the smoke layer can also be modelled with the help of slightly simpler zone models such as CFAST, Ozone and Argos.
Fire and smoke simulations
Fire and smoke simulations are an important part of designing fire safety; from real effectiveness of fire safety equipment to decreasing the number of fire hazards. In other words, our principles are much the same as any other company working on the field of safety. Advanced fire safety design determines how the building may react in case of a fire and how fire equipment must be arranged to ensure a sufficient level of safety.
Simulations on the fire, fire safety systems and human actions can help us determine this. Nowadays it is possible to create accurate simulations, thanks to past research that safety engineers now utilise in their work. In addition, modern computer software makes it possible to efficiently utilise methods developed by engineers.
Smoke ventilation simulations
Smoke ventilation simulations ensure sufficient smoke ventilation in critical places to ensure safe evacuation without interfering with the work of fire fighters. Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) can analyse both gravitational and mechanical smoke ventilation; it can also be programmed to consider the impact of jet thrust fans.
The FDS flow calculation programme can determine temperatures near fires. The temperatures in load-bearing structures (i.e. wood, steel, concrete) can be determined with the help of the SAFIR programme. In addition, SAFIR helps model the building’s reactions to a fire. In other words, it is an accurate tool for determining whether structures maintain their load-bearing capabilities in a fire. The software is already familiar with the default properties of the most typical building materials; in addition, we can use research information to include additional values of other materials.
The building must have safe exits in case of a fire. The building must have enough exits that are appropriately located, spacious enough and easy to access in a way that the evacuation time is as short as possible.
– Decree of the Ministry of the Environment on the Fire safety of Buildings 848-2017 –
Individual simulation models can illustrate the effect that narrow passages, stairs or other obstructions can have on the evacuation time. Evacuation systems can often be significantly improved based on the results of these simulations. Simulation models aim to determine human behaviour and movement during evacuation as accurately as possible. Performance-based fire safety design is specifically helpful in cutting evacuation times and shortening evacuation routes to main evacuation points.
We use Simulex and Pathfinder software to perform evacuation simulations. Both have been peer-reviewed and validated in scientific journals. The software is able to model the evacuation of people from large and multi-storey buildings.
If needed, we can turn the evacuation simulation into an explanatory video.
Determining heat radiation and explosion hazards
Fire simulations can calculate the heat radiation that the area surrounding the fire is subjected to. The results can help us determine, among other things, the flammability of nearby objects, the load-bearing capabilities of structures and possibility for people to protect themselves against heat radiation or exit the impact area.
Determining heat radiation and explosion hazards helps us design appropriate pressure release apertures and examine the development of an explosion. The results explain the size of needed apertures as well as the transient pressure surge during an explosion. Overpressure can be relieved in a way that does not damage the structures.
The simulation also helps us determine the risks that are caused by heat radiation from explosive items, pressure and shrapnel so that we can take them into account during the design process.
Fire-fighting waste-water calculations
Fires are most commonly extinguished by water. Some of the water evaporates due to the high temperatures, whereas the structures and furniture in the building will absorb some of it. The rest is waste water. Fire-fighting waste-water can be problematic since it can carry chemicals into the environment that are harmful for people or the environment.
We can individually calculate the amount of waste-water; the amount will be based on the sizes of the building’s fire compartments and the estimated amount of fire-fighting water. The results help us design appropriate waste-water management.