Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings

Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings

Question: Case Study Report Description and Analysis of a Workplace Health and safety Issue

Executive Summary

Australia among many other countries around the world is surrounded by super-tall buildings that are constructed at unprecedented speed of completion and heights. In regard to the problems that emanate from fire associated with high-rise buildings, this research aims at comprehending the concept of fire and high-rise buildings. A relevant case study is used in adequate comprehension and analysis of the concept of fire safety and high rise buildings. The paper presents the description of the case study through reflection of its relevance to the research problem. In this report, literature review is considered pertinent in provision of the basic concepts and theoretical stand on the topic and research problem. Case study analysis is also presented based on the fire safety measures in terms of previous regulations, responses and laws. Based on the literature and case study analysis, possible recommendation in counteracting the long time vice is presented. The report is concluded based on the main findings and deductions.

[place-order-2]

Introduction

Australia among many other countries around the world is surrounded by super-tall buildings constructed at unprecedented speed of completion and heights. For over 100 years, the issue of fire associated with high buildings has been a quagmire for architects. Despite the danger associated with the often safety matter, occupant safety provision was only addressed in 1980s. According to Dukowski (2012), super-high building is an already completed and occupied structure with roof that exceeds the maximum heights level in terms of rescue aptitudes by the departments delegated to deal with fire from street level. In regard to the problem that emanate from fire associated with high-rise buildings, this research aims at comprehending the concept of fire and high-rise buildings (Alena & Alice, 2014). Since the issue has not been addressed for a long time, the paper objects at presenting possible approaches that have the ability to mitigate and completely address the vice. Finally, the research provides and in-depth analysis of how diverse fire safety approaches work together and independently to mitigate the associated risks. Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings

Case Description

The case study addresses the incidents of fire and cladding issues particularly on the strategies implemented to counteract the vices. Although in vain, the approaches played a pivotal role in orienting relevant bodies on the gravity of the matter alongside possibility of deescalating the incidents. In regard to the case study, the home building act 1989 was amended on January 15 (Alena & Alice, 2014). The primary objective of the amendments was to accommodate the possible approach in counteracting the incidents involving accountability of the builders. In that context, fire safety among other relevant safeties are presented as “significant issues” that deserve priority. The “significant issue” was therefore prioritized to actualize and effect the approach though inclusion of statutory warranty covering residents for at least six years against major defects.

Besides approaches to address fire safety and cladding, the case study presents factual regulations implemented to effect fire safety. One of the regulations is the requirements that all buildings, in this case new buildings and constructions, should adhere to CNN as provided by the Environmental Planning and Assessment regulation. Since high-rise buildings are the most prone buildings to fire incidents, other additional requirements were accommodated for the sake of all buildings beyond 25meters in length. Addition of exists and fire sparkling systems are the additional requirements presented by the case study in relation to the buildings considered “high”, that is, beyond 25 meters in length. Also, the case study includes response to the Grenfell Fire. The response by NSW government was fueled by the Grenfell fire incident on 16 June 2016. The primary mandate of the response was to implement an ambitious strategy suitable to address and respond to all disasters. However, the NSW government response concentrated mostly in prioritization of all requirements in construction of residential buildings with the objective of ensuring their adherence. More specifically, the response addressed fire and safety risks emanating from cladding of external wall of residential buildings. Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings

Coupled with the case study above, is the recent observation that I made while standing beside a mall that was very tall, tall indeed. After looking at the high rise building, most probably beyond 25 meters in length, l thought of the number of people that live in the building. In reflection, I concluded that many families are possible victims of any disaster that can possibly lead to many deaths. As Gerard (et al.2013) noted, fire is the most common disasters by statistic that high rise buildings are exposed to at any time. Fire has numerous causes. Most importantly is the fact that it’s really intricate to stop fire in such an environment and situation if any fire disaster occurs. Therefore, prevention of this possible vice through appropriate evacuation plans and building designs appear to be the most appealing approach.

[place-order]

Literature Review

Risk to life associated with high-rise buildings

Although many researchers have executed many statistics related researches, it’s still difficult to discern the exact risk to life emanating from fire and tall buildings. According to Liu (et al.2012) the primary reason as to why its perplexed to discern the exact risk is due to various data deficiencies. However, this does not mean in any way that probable risk to life cannot be identified. Meacham (et al.2013) presented that probable risk can be determined through examination of factors making up fire risk. By definition, risk refers to the possibility that an event is likely to take place. In that regard, risk to life from fire can be calculated and determined based on all possibilities that fire can or will occur in all possible buildings locations with inclusion of examination of all possible consequences. Based on the calculation and risk to life determination conducted and presented by Peng (et al.2013), it’s evident that high-rise buildings hold incredibly high fire risk compared to low rise buildings. The best explanation to the findings is due to the potential many building locations in high rise buildings. The potential building locations corresponds to the subsequent impact of the fire itself to a significant number of occupants. Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings

Fire safety uniqueness for high-rise buildings

Fire safety has several uniqueness that explain the constant perception that fire is the most elevated and escalating disaster for high-rise buildings. One of the unique features is the egress system in those buildings. More often than not, the systems encourage slow movements and crowding in exit stairs. The reasons behind slow movement and crowding are due to the fact that these stairs do not normally aggravate in width downwards and the escalating number of storeys. According to Ronchi and Nilsson (2013) smoke move vertically under the courtesy of stair shafts which presents significant means used by smoke. The second feature is the access to the building by the fire departments. It’s still difficult for the fire departments to access the fire location since the high rise building has many locations. However, the problem was counteracted partially with the implementation of the modern aerial apparatus. This apparatus allows the fire departments to access a maximum of six to seven floors in the buildings. Therefore, the modern aerial apparatus is only convenient for buildings with a maximum of six or seven floors. In that respect, this uniqueness still persists in building with more floors (Alena & Alice, 2014). In most cases, firefighters are left with no choice rather than to perform an interior operation involving vertical movements inside the buildings while occupants are striving to descend via exit stairs. As a result, the collision leads to delays in accessing and extinguishing fire and subsequent increase in stair shafts contamination.

[place-order]

Case Analysis and Recommendations

The case presents many regulatory approaches that aim at counteracting, mitigating and eradicating fire incidents especially in high rise buildings. One of the most prominent regulations is the requirements that all buildings, in this case new buildings and constructions, should adhere to CNN as provided by the Environmental Planning and Assessment regulation. Additionally, various laws have been implemented with the objective of prioritizing fire safety in all residential buildings. For instance, the home building act 1989 was amended on January 15 (Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding: NSW Priorities. July 2017). The amendments concentrated on fire safety among other relevant safeties considered “significant issues” that deserve priority. The “significant issue” was therefore prioritized to actualize and effect the approach though inclusion of statutory warranty covering residents for at least six years against major defects. Besides all ambitious efforts in the case study, fire incidences in high rise buildings are still aggravated. In that regard, its worth considering the prior approaches to be in vain. Implementation of laws and regulation are not enough on their own to address the issue in devoid of actualization and execution of the strategies (Averill, 2011). Therefore, its possibly right to deduce that there has been a weakness in execution of the already implemented laws and regulation.

Recommendations

Sassi (et al.2016) showed that it’s really intricate to stop fire in such an environment and situation if any fire disaster occurs. From the case study its crystal clear that implemented laws and regulations are neither executed nor adhered fully by the builders. Therefore, prevention of this possible vice through appropriate evacuation plans and building designs appear to be the most appealing approaches. It should be the mandate of the designers to consider a number of points that are illustrated by prior fire incidents in residential buildings. One is the spread of a large amount of smoke generated by unsuppressed fires that have the ability to circulate and spread horizontally or vertically. The observation is backed up by Sun (et al.2013) in the argument that smoke spread the same way whether limited to a single building or not. Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings

The second observation is the vertical spread of smoke. As Schmidt and Griffin (2013) noted, vertical spread of smoke is accelerated by “stack effect” and wind which occurs when outside temperature of the building is less than the inside temperature. In that respect lower floor fire, during winter, possess a significant extent of smoke spreading to higher floors. Since prevent fire as not been possible for the last decades, it’s better to consider the alternative pathway of reducing the impact of fire when it occurs. Most injuries, deaths and damages occur due to the spreading effect of smoke regardless of the type and structure of the building. Therefore, its highly recommended that designers should consider prioritizing design amendment to reduce spread of smoke.

[place-order-2]

Conclusion

Fire is the most common disasters by statistic that high rise buildings are exposed to at any time. Fire has numerous causative agents. Although many researchers have executed many statistics related researches, it’s still difficult to discern the exact risk to life emanating from fire and tall buildings. Risk to life from fire can be calculated and determined based on all possibilities that fire can or will occur in all possible buildings locations with inclusion of examination of all possible consequences. It’s evident that high-rise buildings hold incredibly high fire risk compared low rise buildings. From the case study its crystal clear that implemented laws and regulations are neither executed nor adhered fully by the builders. Therefore, prevention of this possible vice through appropriate evacuation plans and building designs appear to be the most appealing approaches. its highly recommended that designers should consider prioritizing design amendment to reduce spread of smoke.

References

Alena, T., & Alice, W.-I. (2014). First prosecution case of an officer under WHS laws. Health Safety at Work, 1-4. Retrieved from https://www.safetysolutions.net.au/content/business/article/first-prosecution-case-of-an-officer-under-whs-laws-554903669

Averill, J. D. (2011). Five grand challenges in pedestrian and evacuation dynamics. In Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics (pp. 1-11). Springer, Boston, MA.

Bukowski, R. W. (2012). Addressing the needs of people using elevators for emergency evacuation. Fire technology, 48(1), 127-136.

Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding: NSW Priorities. July 2017

Gerard, R., Barber, D., & Wolski, A. (2013). Fire safety challenges of tall wood buildings. National Fire Protection Research Foundation.

Liu, X., Zhang, H., & Zhu, Q. (2012). Factor analysis of high-rise building fires reasons and fire protection measures. Procedia Engineering, 45, 643-648.

Meacham, B., Poole, B., Echeverria, J., & Cheng, R. (2013). Fire safety challenges of green buildings. Springer Science & Business Media.

Peng, L., Ni, Z., & Huang, X. (2013). Review on the fire safety of exterior wall claddings in high-rise buildings in China. Procedia Engineering, 62, 663-670.

Ronchi, E., & Nilsson, D. (2013). Fire evacuation in high-rise buildings: a review of human behaviour and modelling research. Fire science reviews, 2(1), 7.

Sassi, S., Setti, P., Amaro, G., Mazziotti, L., Paduano, G., Cancelliere, P., & Madeddu, M. (2016). Fire safety engineering applied to high-rise building facades. In MATEC web of conferences (Vol. 46, p. 04002). EDP Sciences.

Sun, J., Hu, L., & Zhang, Y. (2013). A review on research of fire dynamics in high-rise buildings. Theor Appl Mech Lett, 3(4), 042001.

Schmidt, J., & Griffin, C. T. (2013). Barriers to the design and use of cross-laminated timber structures in high-rise multi-family housing in the United States. Structures and Architecture, 2225-2231.

[place-order-2]

Leave a Reply