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Article

W.K. Chow and L.Y. Chan

The water mist fire suppression system (WMFSS) is an environmentally friendly fire protection system, replacing the total flooding halon system. It is starting to be…

Abstract

Purpose

The water mist fire suppression system (WMFSS) is an environmentally friendly fire protection system, replacing the total flooding halon system. It is starting to be popular in Hong Kong with five systems approved. However, such systems were tested under some scenarios very different from real fires. Performance under practical scenarios should be evaluated thoroughly. Full‐scale burning tests should be carried out to support that the systems would work in real fire scenarios as expected. This paper aims to briefly discuss whether the water mist system is suitable for use in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

Five water mist systems were approved in Hong Kong based on the fire test certificate provided by the manufacturers. Four systems were selected in this paper for discussion. Conditions of the fire scenarios in which the approved systems would work are described. The test scenario encountered should match with real fires. Such systems would work satisfactorily in the application area proposed. They are good for enclosed rooms such as machinery spaces and plant rooms. But applying such systems for use in retail areas or libraries should be watched carefully, particularly those with high ventilation rates.

Findings

It is observed that the four approved systems were only evaluated on machinery plant rooms with volume less than 500 m3. They are demonstrated to be effective in extinguishing a wide range of bigger Class B fires with very little residual water in a short time. However, the loss of water vapor under mechanical ventilation conditions might reduce the extinguishing capability of mist. The water mist nozzle should not be installed near to the exhaust and supply positions of the mechanical ventilation system. Note that WMFSS is not effective in handling shielded fires due to the lower mist concentration.

Practical implications

Full‐scale burning tests on pool fires of different shapes under water mist were carried out. It was demonstrated that WMFSS might not work under some fire scenarios. Different scenarios on the amount and arrangement of combustibles, room geometry and sizes would affect the system performance. Further, shop fires were burnt with performance of the water mist system evaluated. Heat release rate curves on the shop fire with and without discharging water mist are measured. Reignition occurred once water supply was shut down, burning up all combustibles.

Originality/value

Effectiveness of WMFSS is determined by other factors, including the spray characteristics, fire size, ceiling height and ventilation rate in the compartment. Their performance in mechanical ventilation rooms should be watched. As a result, the total flooding system might not be so good. Localized water mist systems directed to the hazard might be more reliable to suppress fire. Water nozzle design is a key area as raised by the principal author. Anyway, the possible fire scenarios must be identified in designing workable WMFSS. Full‐scale burning tests should be conducted to demonstrate the system performance.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article

Fabio Yukio Kurokawa, Claudia Regina de Andrade and Edson Luiz Zaparoli

This paper aims to determine the halon concentration time-evolution inside an aircraft cargo compartment to design fire extinguishing systems.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine the halon concentration time-evolution inside an aircraft cargo compartment to design fire extinguishing systems.

Design/methodology/approach

A fire suppression system is numerically simulated using the lumped parameter approach.

Findings

The halon volumetric concentration, halon and air mass fluxes and the cargo compartment pressure are numerically calculated. It also determines the time to halon concentration to achieve the fire suppressant value (high pressure bottle) as well as its inerting volumetric concentration (low pressure bottle).

Research limitations/implications

In the lumped parameter approach, the dependent variables of interest are a function of time alone, and its spatial distribution is neglected.

Practical implications

This study predicts the fire extinguishing agent behavior aiming to satisfy cargo compartment certification requirements.

Originality/value

This paper uses a simplified methodology, but it represents a very useful tool during the preliminary stages of the aircraft fire suppression systems design.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, vol. 88 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article

Mohammad A. Hassanain and Mohammed Abdul Hafeez

Since the earliest days of mankind, fire has been both a friend and a foe. Restaurant facilities, characterized by the use of fire in their daily activities, pose unique…

Abstract

Purpose

Since the earliest days of mankind, fire has been both a friend and a foe. Restaurant facilities, characterized by the use of fire in their daily activities, pose unique fire risks as large numbers of people may gather at one time to consume food. The objective of this paper is to present the development of a fire safety evaluation tool whereby existing restaurant facilities can be evaluated for the purpose of identifying and eliminating fire hazards, and meeting the minimum requirements of current legislation.

Design/methodology/approach

The evaluation tool has been developed by synthesizing information collected from an extensive literature review, principally of North American and UK based literature. The authors found it necessary to review causes of fire accidents in restaurants, and the materials and equipment involved in ignition. The paper also reviews restaurant requirements for fire detection and notification systems, fire suppression and extinguishing systems, and means of egress and evacuation systems.

Findings

The evaluation tool consists of 66 items to assess fire hazards, detection and notification systems, suppression and extinguishing systems, means of escape and management, and maintenance measures.

Originality/value

The paper provides a practical focus for property and/or facility managers responsible for day‐to‐day business operations of restaurant facilities and for surveyors inspecting such properties.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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Article

Mohammad A. Hassanain and Nagib Al Ashwal

The objectives of this paper are to review current legislation and guidelines on fire safety in library facilities, and to present the finding of a case study to assess…

Abstract

Purpose

The objectives of this paper are to review current legislation and guidelines on fire safety in library facilities, and to present the finding of a case study to assess the provision of these requirements in the main library of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have analyzed published literature and identified characteristics of combustible information media in libraries, causes of fire in library facilities, basic requirements of fire detection systems, basic requirements of fire suppression systems, and basic requirements of egress and evacuation. The authors then carried out an investigation to assess the provision of these requirements in the main library of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Findings

The findings from the case study conducted in the paper indicated that although the main library at KFUPM was found to have sufficient fire detection system, fire suppression system, and provision of the basic requirements of egress and evacuation, there are some recommendations for improving the status of fire safety. These recommendations are summarized as follows: a floor plan should be posted on each floor to illustrate the locations of evacuation routes, exits, and other fire safety devices; signs should be installed in the third and the fourth floor to guide students to evacuation exits; and furniture should be removed from the area in front of the stairway in the third floor.

Originality/value

Fires are one of the main causes of life and property loss in cultural buildings. The high fire load of libraries makes them particularly susceptible to the spread of fire. The paper provides a systematic approach to the assessment of the provision of fire safety requirements in existing library facilities. The paper also provides insights to facility managers responsible for day‐to‐day operations of library and/or archival facilities.

Details

Facilities, vol. 23 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

Content available
Article

Venkatesh Kodur, Puneet Kumar and Muhammad Masood Rafi

The current fire protection measures in buildings do not account for all contemporary fire hazard issues, which has made fire safety a growing concern. Therefore, this…

Abstract

Purpose

The current fire protection measures in buildings do not account for all contemporary fire hazard issues, which has made fire safety a growing concern. Therefore, this paper aims to present a critical review of current fire protection measures and their applicability to address current challenges relating to fire hazards in buildings.

Design/methodology/approach

To overcome fire hazards in buildings, impact of fire hazards is also reviewed to set the context for fire protection measures. Based on the review, an integrated framework for mitigation of fire hazards is proposed. The proposed framework involves enhancement of fire safety in four key areas: fire protection features in buildings, regulation and enforcement, consumer awareness and technology and resources advancement. Detailed strategies on improving fire safety in buildings in these four key areas are presented, and future research and training needs are identified.

Findings

Current fire protection measures lead to an unquantified level of fire safety in buildings, provide minimal strategies to mitigate fire hazard and do not account for contemporary fire hazard issues. Implementing key measures that include reliable fire protection systems, proper regulation and enforcement of building code provisions, enhancement of public awareness and proper use of technology and resources is key to mitigating fire hazard in buildings. Major research and training required to improve fire safety in buildings include developing cost-effective fire suppression systems and rational fire design approaches, characterizing new materials and developing performance-based codes.

Practical implications

The proposed framework encompasses both prevention and management of fire hazard. To demonstrate the applicability of this framework in improving fire safety in buildings, major limitations of current fire protection measures are identified, and detailed strategies are provided to address these limitations using proposed fire safety framework.

Social implications

Fire represents a severe hazard in both developing and developed countries and poses significant threat to life, structure, property and environment. The proposed framework has social implications as it addresses some of the current challenges relating to fire hazard in buildings and will enhance overall fire safety.

Originality/value

The novelty of proposed framework lies in encompassing both prevention and management of fire hazard. This is unlike current fire safety improvement strategies, which focus only on improving fire protection features in buildings (i.e. managing impact of fire hazard) using performance-based codes. To demonstrate the applicability of this framework in improving fire safety in buildings, major limitations of current fire protection measures are identified and detailed strategies are provided to address these limitations using proposed fire safety framework. Special emphasis is given to cost-effectiveness of proposed strategies, and research and training needs for further enhancing building fire safety are identified.

Details

PSU Research Review, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2399-1747

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Article

Mohammad A. Hassanain

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a set of preventive measures required for mitigating fire risks in big box retail facilities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a set of preventive measures required for mitigating fire risks in big box retail facilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies the potential sources of ignition and fuel in big box retail facilities. It describes the variety of hazardous situations commonly found in such facilities worldwide. The paper then endeavors to discuss the series of fire protection challenges that could be faced during fire emergencies. It also explores the challenges of evacuation and rescue in such mega store facilities.

Findings

Mega stores, distribution centers and large retail stores are amongst the most challenging occupancies from a fire protection perspective. Fires can occur in big box retail facilities at any time and from a number of causes. These facilities represent a type of occupancy that poses considerable challenges to both fixed fire suppression systems and fire departments in cases of fire emergencies. The paper also describes the responsibilities of building management staff towards their employees and the public. Facility managers should always seek proactive measures to reduce the risk of fire and fire spread in big box retail facilities. These measure include providing sufficient number and capacity of exits; clear exit access; efficient smoke detection systems; voice communication systems; and efficient automatic sprinkler systems.

Quality/value

This paper serves to increase the awareness about fire and its effects in mega store facilities. The paper provides practical value to property directors and facility managers responsible for the daily operations of mega store facilities and for surveyors inspecting such properties.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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Article

Within a few years it is expected that the Fire Precautions Act (1971), at present only applicable to hotels, boarding houses, shops, offices and factories, will be…

Abstract

Within a few years it is expected that the Fire Precautions Act (1971), at present only applicable to hotels, boarding houses, shops, offices and factories, will be extended to cover all buildings‐and the onus of compliance will be placed on the building owner or ‘the responsible person’: the facilities manager? Eric Marchant, of the University of Edinburgh's Department of Fire Safety Engineering, puts this vast subject into perspective.

Details

Facilities, vol. 2 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Abstract

Title

Gulfire: in line of fire.

Subject area

Marketing Communication.

Study level/applicability

At the undergraduate level, this case can be used in marketing courses such as Marketing Fundamentals, Marketing Management, Marketing Communication and Consumer Behavior. This case may also be used for Master's level students for Quality when focusing on safety/security in offices and factories.

Case overview

This case is used to introduce the concept of B2B and B2C marketing and explore the possibilities of converting an industry that essentially uses B2B marketing communication to choose B2C options. This case is also important for creating awareness on safety and preventive measures in the face of a fire crisis.

Expected learning outcomes

Understanding the role of marketing communication. Differentiating between B2B and B2C markets. Exploring the application of B2C marketing communication in the fire suppression systems market in the Middle East.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

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Article

Mohammad A. Hassanain and Ali Al‐Mudhei

The increasingly improved automotive vehicle production technology has allowed consumers to purchase passenger cars and commercial vehicles at reasonably affordable…

Abstract

Purpose

The increasingly improved automotive vehicle production technology has allowed consumers to purchase passenger cars and commercial vehicles at reasonably affordable prices. This has resulted in greater demands for the construction and installation of motor fuel dispensing facilities, or simply “gas stations”, in virtually all urban districts worldwide. However, unlike most consumer products, which are designed to be fire resistant, highly flammable gasoline dispensed at these facilities is intended and formulated to burn. Therefore, fire safety of motor fuel dispensing facilitates becomes a major concern since these facilities form one of the greatest fire hazards that millions of people visit everyday. This paper seeks to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the current international and local legislation and requirements on fire safety in gas station facilities, and presents the findings of a case study conducted to evaluate fire prevention measures and fire protection equipment in five gas station facilities located in the growing City of Al‐Khobar, Saudi Arabia, where dispensing of motor fuel is carried out in an outside shaded area by station attendants.

Findings

The evaluation revealed that none of the five gas stations is complying with all fire safety regulations. Recommendations are made to improve fire safety at such facilities by regular inspection and evaluation.

Research limitations/implications

Although the results are limited to Saudi Arabia the approach taken could be extended to other geographical areas.

Practical implications

The paper is of practical value to facility managers responsible for day‐to‐day operations of gas station facilities.

Originality/value

The paper reviews literature from North America as well as that pertaining to the legislation in the country where the case study facilities are located.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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Article

Eric W. Marchant

The general principles of fire safety are reviewed and these are related specifically to libraries. The major elements of fire safety (people, buildings and fire) are…

Abstract

The general principles of fire safety are reviewed and these are related specifically to libraries. The major elements of fire safety (people, buildings and fire) are examined and the specific components of these are discussed as they affect, and are affected by, library use and design. The contents of libraries in relation to fire protection are considered.

Details

Library Review, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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