Fire safety design in buildings

Functional demands, Fire safety, Initial stage of fireThe main purpose of fire safety design of a building is to minimise the consequences of a fire by:

  • preventing injury to people

  • limiting the material and economic damage 

In a burning building there is often a high risk of personal injury. To safely evaquate a building during a fire you need to consider: 

  • fire gases

  • visibility

  • heat radiation

  • temperature

E.g. in order to evacuate safely, the air temperature in rooms through which people are escaping should not exceed approx. 80°C.

The total fire protection of a building

The total fire protection of a building and its specific function is a complex issue, concerning several areas and how they interact with one another: 

  • The building itself including its design, building elements, materials, interior fittings and furnishing

  • The fire detection systems and alarms

  • The organisation and practice of conducting evacuation

  • The rescue efforts of fire brigades

  • The extinguishing and control of the fire. Partly through automatic fire extinguishing systems and/or partly through active actions, e.g. of the fire brigade

Building regulations and various types of standards normally cover these aspects. The building regulations are formulated on a national basis and vary between different countries. Standards can be on either a national base (e.g. DIN, BS and ASTM) or international (EN- and ISO-standards).