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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Negar Elhami Khorasani and Maria E.M. Garlock

This paper aims to present a literature review on the problem of fire following earthquake (FFE) as a potential hazard to communities in seismically active regions. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a literature review on the problem of fire following earthquake (FFE) as a potential hazard to communities in seismically active regions. The paper is important to work toward resilient communities that are subject to extreme hazards.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper lists and reviews the historical FFE events (20 earthquakes from 7 countries), studies the available analytical tools to evaluate fire ignition and spread in communities after an earthquake, discusses the available studies on performance of individual buildings under post-earthquake fires and summarizes the current literature on mitigation techniques for post-earthquake fires.

Findings

FFE can be considered a potential hazard for urban communities that are especially not prepared for such conditions. The available analytical models are not yet fully up to the standards that can be used by city authorities for decision-making, and therefore, should be further validated. Limited structural analyses of individual buildings under FFE scenarios have been completed. Results show that the drift demand on the building frame increases during post-earthquake fires. Despite the mitigation actions, there are still urban cities that are not prepared for such an event, such as certain areas of California in the USA.

Originality/value

The paper is a complete and an exhaustive collection of literature on different aspects of FFE. Research in earthquake engineering is well advanced, while structural analyses under fire load and performance of communities under FFE can be further advanced.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 8 no. 02
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Lorena Deleanu, Constantin Georgescu, Sorin Ciortan and Liviu Catalin Solea

The purpose of this paper is to establish the influence of oil concentration in oil-in-water emulsions on their flammability on hot surfaces and on their viscosity. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish the influence of oil concentration in oil-in-water emulsions on their flammability on hot surfaces and on their viscosity. The interest in fire test systematization is obviously developing due to many grades and applications of fluids and new design solutions asking for higher parameters in exploitation, including pressure and temperature. Higher temperature and pressure have a synergic effect on fire risk; thus, a special attention has to be given to selecting fluids based on fire tests.

Design/methodology/approach

This test simulates a hazardous event when a fluid drops on a hot surface: 10 ml of fluid is dropped during 40-60 seconds on a manifold kept at a constant temperature, from a distance of 300 ± 5 mm above the surface. Tests were done under the procedure of SR EN ISO 20823:2004, with an original equipment. The apparent viscosity of the tested fluids was determined using a rheometer Rheotest 2. The tests were done for the fully mineral oil (Prista MHE-40) and for emulsions with different oil volume in water: 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 per cent, respectively.

Findings

The mineral oil MHE 40 Prista does not burn repeatedly for manifold temperature lower than 440°C, but it burns at 450°C on the clean surface and at 425°C on dirty surface, as obtained after testing the same oil, but at a temperature for which the oil burns. The emulsions do not burn even at 90 per cent oil in water, but the apparent viscosity of the emulsion is too high and unstable, above 20-30 per cent (volume) oil in water. No evident relationship was found between the apparent viscosity of the emulsions and their behavior on hot surface.

Research limitations/implications

The hydraulic fluids were ranked, taking into account the flammability characteristics determined with the help of this test.

Practical implications

This paper aims to reduce the risk of fire in hazardous environments using fire-resistant fluids.

Social implications

Testing hydraulic fluids under the procedure of SR EN ISO 20823:2004 is required by European and national regulations to avoid large-scale accidents produced by the ignition of hydraulic fluids.

Originality/value

As far as the authors have known, the test procedure was only used for establishing whether a certain fluid passes or does not pass this test. The authors did not find any references for establishing the influence of oil concentration on the flammability characteristics. Also, the equipment has an original design, allowing for a good repeatability and a high protection of the operator.

Details

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, vol. 67 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0036-8792

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Richard Shaun Walls, Rodney Eksteen, Charles Kahanji and Antonio Cicione

Informal settlements are inherently unstructured in nature, lack adequate services, regularly have high population densities and can experience social problems. Thus, fires

Abstract

Purpose

Informal settlements are inherently unstructured in nature, lack adequate services, regularly have high population densities and can experience social problems. Thus, fires can easily propagate rapidly through such areas, leaving thousands homeless in a single fire. The purpose of this paper is to present an appraisal of various interventions and strategies to improve fire safety in informal settlements in South Africa (globally, similar settlements are known as slums, ghettos, favelas, shantytowns, etc.), considering aspects of both technical suitability and social suitability.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focusses on three specific aspects: ignition risk management, active fire protection interventions and passive fire protection interventions. These are presented within a framework to outline how they may mitigate the impact of fires.

Findings

Often “solutions” proposed to improve fire safety either lack a sound engineering basis, thus becoming technically inefficient, or do not consider social circumstances and community responses in settlements, thereby becoming practically, socially or economically unsuitable. It must be understood that there is no “quick fix” to this significant problem, but rather a combination of interventions can improve fire safety in general. A broad understanding of the various options available is essential when addressing this problem, which this paper seeks to provide.

Practical implications

This paper seeks to provide an overview to guide policymakers and organisations by illustrating both the advantages/benefits and disadvantages/challenges of the interventions and strategies currently being rolled out, as well as potential alternatives.

Originality/value

A broad but succinct appraisal is provided that gives insight and direction for improving fire safety in informal settlements. It is hoped that the challenges associated with the fire safety interventions discussed can be addressed and improved over time.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2007

William S. Keeton, Philip W. Mote and Jerry F. Franklin

Climate change during the next century is likely to significantly influence forest ecosystems in the western United States, including indirect effects on forest and…

Abstract

Climate change during the next century is likely to significantly influence forest ecosystems in the western United States, including indirect effects on forest and shrubland fire regimes. Further exacerbation of fire hazards by the warmer, drier summers projected for much of the western U.S. by climate models would compound already elevated fire risks caused by 20th century fire suppression. This has potentially grave consequences for the urban–wildland interface in drier regions, where residential expansion increasingly places people and property in the midst of fire-prone vegetation. Understanding linkages between climate variability and change, therefore, are central to our ability to forecast future risks and adapt land management, allocation of fire management resources, and suburban planning accordingly. To establish these linkages we review previous research and draw inferences from our own retrospective work focused on 20th century climate–fire relationships in the U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW). We investigated relationships between the two dominant modes of climate variability affecting the PNW, which are Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and historic fire activity at multiple spatial scales. We used historic fire data spanning most of the 20th century for USDA Forest Service Region 6, individual states (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), and 20 national forests representative of the region's physiographic diversity. Forest fires showed significant correlations with warm/dry phases of PDO at regional and state scales; relationships were variable at the scale of individual national forests. Warm/dry phases of PDO were especially influential in terms of the occurrence of very large fire events throughout the PNW. No direct statistical relationships were found between ENSO and forest fires at regional scales, although relationships may exist at smaller spatial scales. However, both ENSO and PDO were correlated with summer drought, as estimated by the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), and PDSI was correlated with fire activity at all scales. Even moderate (±0.3°C decadal mean) fluctuations in PNW climate over the 20th century have influenced wildfire activity based on our analysis. Similar trends have been reported for other regions of the western U.S. Thus, forest fire activity has been sensitive to past climate variability, even in the face of altered dynamics due to fire suppression, as in the case of our analysis. It is likely that fire activity will increase in response to future temperature increases, at the same or greater magnitude as experienced during past climate variability. If extreme drought conditions become more prevalent we can expect a greater frequency of large, high-intensity forest fires. Increased vulnerability to forest fires may worsen the current fire management problem in the urban–wildland interface. Adaptation of fire management and restoration planning will be essential to address fire hazards in areas of intermingled exurban development and fire-prone vegetation. We recommend: (1) landscape-level strategic planning of fire restoration and containment projects; (2) better use of climatic forecasts, including PDO and ENSO related predictions; and (3) community-based efforts to limit further residential expansion into fire-prone forested and shrubland areas.

Details

Living on the Edge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-000-5

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Daphne Pantousa and Euripidis Mistakidis

The primary purpose of this paper is the development of a fire–structure interface (FSI) model, which is referred in this study as a simplified “dual-layer” model. It is…

Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this paper is the development of a fire–structure interface (FSI) model, which is referred in this study as a simplified “dual-layer” model. It is oriented for design purposes, in the cases where fire-compartments exceed the “regular” dimensions, as they are defined by the guidelines of the codes (EN 1991-1-2).

Design/methodology/approach

The model can be used at the post-processing stage of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and it is based on the gas-temperature field (spatial and temporal) of the fire-compartment. To use the “dual-layer” model, first the gas-temperature (discrete) function along the height of the fire-compartment, at discrete plan–view points should be determined through the output of the CFD analysis. The model “compresses” the point data to (spatial) virtual zones, which are divided into two layers (with respect to the height of the fire-compartment) of uniform temperature: the upper (hot) layer and the lower (cold) layer.

Findings

The model calculates the temporal evolution of the gas-temperature in the fire compartment in every virtual zone which is divided in two layers (hot and cold layer).

Originality/value

The main advantage of this methodology is that actually only three different variables (height of interface upper-layer temperature and lower-layer temperature) are exported during the post-processing stage of the CFD analysis, for every virtual zone. Next, the gas-temperature can be used for the determination of the temperature profile of structural members using simple models that are proposed in EN 1993-1-2.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2020

David Rush, Greg Bankoff, Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock, Lesley Gibson, Laura Hirst, Steve Jordan, Graham Spinardi, John Twigg and Richard Shaun Walls

Globally, over 95% of fire related deaths and injuries occur in low- and middle-income countries. Within informal settlements, the risk of fire resulting in injury or…

Abstract

Purpose

Globally, over 95% of fire related deaths and injuries occur in low- and middle-income countries. Within informal settlements, the risk of fire resulting in injury or death is particularly high. This paper examines fire risks in informal settlements in New Delhi and Cape Town, and tented informal settlements in Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

Our analysis draws on primary sources, secondary literature, statistical data and qualitative interviews.

Findings

The distribution of fire risk across urban societies is a fundamentally political issue. Residential fire risk can be tackled by accessible, affordable, safety-compliant housing. That said, important interim measures can be taken to mitigate fire risk. Some of the risks requiring attention are similar across our case studies, driven by high population densities; flammable housing materials; unreliable or inaccessible access to safe power sources; and – in the case of Cape Town and New Delhi particularly – the inability of fire services to reach sites of fire. However, these common risks are embedded in distinct social, economic and political contexts that must be placed at the center of any intervention. Interventions must also be aware that the risk of fire is not spread evenly within informal settlements, intersecting as it does with factors like gender, age, health and disability.

Originality/value

Informal settlement fires have been under-studied to date. The studies that do exist tend to operate within disciplinary silos. This paper represents an important interdisciplinary approach to fire within informal settlements, which grounds technical data, modeling and experiments in political, social and economic realities.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Ronn Johnson, Heidi Beckenbach and Samantha Kilbourne

This paper aims to present an overview of a variety of risk assessment issues that are of particular relevance for work with juvenile fire setters in clinical and forensic…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an overview of a variety of risk assessment issues that are of particular relevance for work with juvenile fire setters in clinical and forensic settings. The paper seeks to consider Juvenile Fire Setting (JFS)‐Youthful Misuse of Fire (YMF) across a broad array of clinical domains, including developmental, prognostic, and the diagnostic utility anticipated by using the DSM‐5. National standards and risk assessment levels are to be examined.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper includes a comprehensive review of the research and practices related to juvenile fire setters. This review included assessment and intervention resources that are used in diverse practice environments. The authors reviewed the literature to establish a nexus between risk assessment and community‐based interventions which were illustrated by a nationally recognized YMF mental health program (FATJAM).

Findings

The paper provides empirically‐based insights into key issues for working with these forensic cases. It offers discussion regarding diagnostic issues that are relevant to the DSM‐5.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the conceptual or theoretical approach used, the research basis for generalizations is restricted to the practice‐based analyses provided by the authors. Therefore, practitioners and researchers are urged to further test the observations and conclusions presented.

Originality/value

This paper is unique in that it increases the knowledge base related to the diagnostic applications with the DSM‐5, as well as evidence‐based interventions for JFS as it pertains to public safety.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2007

John Radke

This paper describes the application of, enhancements to, and use of surface fire spread models in predicting and mitigating fire risk in the Wildland–Urban Interface…

Abstract

This paper describes the application of, enhancements to, and use of surface fire spread models in predicting and mitigating fire risk in the Wildland–Urban Interface (WUI). Research and fire management strategies undertaken in the East Bay Hill region (containing the 1991 Tunnel Fire) of the San Francisco Bay area over the past decade are reported. We ascertain that surface fire spread modeling has impacted policy and decision making, resulting in a regional strategic plan where large landowners and public agencies are able to implement fire mitigation practices. Although these practices involve extensive fuel management within a buffer zone between the wildland and residential properties, the residential property owners are still at risk, as no strategy within neighborhoods can be accurately mapped using the current scale of the data and models. WUI fires are eventually extinguished by fire fighters on the ground, up close, and at the backyard scale. We argue that large-scale (backyard scale) mapping and modeling of surface fire spread is necessary to engage the individual homeowner in a fuels management strategy. We describe our ongoing research and strategies, and suggest goals for future research and development in the area of large-scale WUI fire modeling and management.

Details

Living on the Edge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-000-5

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2019

Xuehui Wang, Tiannian Zhou, Qinpei Chen and Jian Wang

This study aims to investigate the controlling mechanisms of ambient oxygen and pressure on piloted ignition of solid combustibles under external radiant heating.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the controlling mechanisms of ambient oxygen and pressure on piloted ignition of solid combustibles under external radiant heating.

Design/methodology/approach

The numerical simulation method was used to model the influence of ambient oxygen concentration on the piloted ignition of a thermally irradiated solid sample in reduced pressure atmospheres. The solid phase decomposition and gas phase kinetics were solved simultaneously.

Findings

It was determined that the elevated oxygen atmospheres resulted in a higher flame temperature and a thicker temperature profile over the solid surface. Also, increasing oxygen and reducing pressure had a similar effect in the decrease of the ignition delay time. The shorter ignition time in reduced pressure was mainly because of the decreasing of convective heat losses from the heated solid. As oxygen was reduced, however, ignition occurred later and with a greater mass loss rate because more volatiles of solid fuel at transient ignition were required to sustain a complete reaction under an oxygen-poor condition.

Research limitations/implications

The results need to be verified with experiments.

Practical implications

The results could be applied for design and assessment of fire-fighting and fire prevention strategies in reduced pressure atmosphere.

Originality/value

This paper shows the effect mechanism of ambient oxygen and pressure on piloted ignition of solid combustibles.

Details

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0961-5539

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1950

J.A. Jones and R.V. Niswander

THE occurrence of isolated fires in commercial, passenger carrying aircraft has focused considerable attention upon the fire risks involved in the use of combustible…

Abstract

THE occurrence of isolated fires in commercial, passenger carrying aircraft has focused considerable attention upon the fire risks involved in the use of combustible materials, the arrangement of functional equipment and accessories, and the effectiveness of fire‐proof finishes and coatings. In addition to other studies concerning the elimination of fire hazard through careful survey of the electrical system and other functional systems, studies have been made concerning the improvement of the ignition resistance of materials and the subsequent propagation of fire. Serious fires have developed as a result of propagation by materials which were not responsible for the original ignition of fire. An intensive effort has been made to reduce this fire hazard by the development and application of protective coatings and finishes to vulnerable and combustible materials. This work led to the obvious need for, and development of, a testing apparatus by which a realistic comparison could be made of combustible materials under conditions simulating those of an actual fire.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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