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Fire safety in the design and operation of student housing facilities

Mohammad A. Hassanain (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the design and operation factors that affect the provision of fire‐safe student housing facilities, and to present the development of a proposed operational framework for fire safety evaluation of student housing facilities.


The paper identifies the causes of fire accidents in student housing facilities and classifies the factors that make it a high fire‐risk type of facility. It identifies several common design deficiencies contributing to student housing fires and reviews measures to prevent fires in student housing facilities. The paper also presents a series of guidelines for use by facility managers for the provision of safe facilities.


The proposed operational framework for fire safety evaluation in student housing facilities consists of five sequential processes, namely: archival and document evaluation; development of an audit worksheet; commencement of the walk‐through inspection; reporting of inspection findings; and development of a plan for remedial actions.


This paper serves to increase the awareness about fires and their devastating effects in residential university facilities. The paper provides practical value to the design professional of student housing projects, student housing administrators, and facility managers responsible for the daily operation of student housing facilities.



Hassanain, M.A. (2008), "Fire safety in the design and operation of student housing facilities", Structural Survey, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 55-62.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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