Investigation into Fire Safety Surveying Procedures

PhD Thesis

Murray, Graham Arnold (1996). Investigation into Fire Safety Surveying Procedures. PhD Thesis South Bank University Department of Chemical Engineering
AuthorsMurray, Graham Arnold
TypePhD Thesis

Significant changes in fire safety legislation have resulted in a greater onus being placed upon the owners and occupiers of premises to ensure adequate fire safety provisions. Due to the possibility of considerable time delays between the application for a fire certificate and the subsequent inspection, it is now no longer acceptable on the occupation of premises to simply apply for a fire certificate and await the comments of the inspecting authorities, before instigating appropriate fire safety measures. Unfortunately, official guidance on fire precautions tends to be too generalised and therefore often inappropriate to particular needs, such as those of hazardous premises. This not only results in difficulties for judging what is reasonable and adequate, but also leads to inefficient designs. In particular, little guidance in the form of engineering solutions (which are an alternative means of demonstrating compliance with specific regulations) is available. In general, when buildings are assessed to fire safety engineering principles, a more precise and economical design can be achieved.
This thesis provides a critical appraisal of the legislation relating to the control of fire safety in buildings, including associated regulations and codes of practice; it also contains proposals for enabling the engineer or architect to design more effectively from a first principles approach. Although the overall criteria for fire certification are addressed, key features of the study relate to the Fire Certificates (Special Premises) Regulations and Structural Fire Precautions. In particular, reference is made to the background philosophy of the Building Regulations and the interpretation and suitability of fire test data. Reference is made to fire load data, fire stopping materials and cladding, for which new data are provided. Critical steelwork failure temperatures have been examined to draw a simplified correlation between lower stress levels and higher failure temperatures as an alternative method to BS5950: Part 8 for designing fire resistant steel structures. Means of examining the effects of adverse heating environments on structural steelwork have been made.
Recommendations for future studies and improvements in legislative control and fire testing procedures are also presented.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
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Deposited15 Mar 2024
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