Quantification of toxic hazard from fires in buildings

Hull, T Richard orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7970-4208, Brein, Dieter and Stec, Anna A orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6861-0468 (2016) Quantification of toxic hazard from fires in buildings. Journal of Building Engineering, 8 . pp. 313-318.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2016.02.014


Fire safe design requires a builder, architect or fire safety engineer to ensure that the available safe escape time (ASET) exceeds the required safe escape time (RSET), for which an estimate of toxic hazard from smoke is required. In Europe, the burning behaviour of construction products must be tested and labelled according to their Euroclass, based on their fire performance in a range of tests. Each Euroclass can be used to indicate a mass loss range. The yields of toxic products may be determined for each material as a function of fire condition. Reliable data has been widely reported from the steady state tube furnace (ISO TS 19700) and the fire propagation apparatus (ISO 12136) for both well-ventilated and under-ventilated flaming. By combining the toxic product yields, most easily expressed as an LC50, with the mass loss range, a methodology is proposed for quantifying the volume of toxic effluent produced by burning construction materials within an enclosure. This allows a maximum safe loading of construction materials to be quantified for a given volume of enclosure. This is intended to ensure that estimates of toxic hazard are undertaken as part of any fire hazard assessment, not to replace more rigorous engineering analyses. It will allow architects and builders to ensure that their materials’ selection does not compromise fire safety

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