Study on enhancement of fire safety in a shopping mall

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Study on enhancement of fire safety in a shopping mall


Author: Fong, Chi-sum Carmen
Title: Study on enhancement of fire safety in a shopping mall
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2007
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Shopping malls -- Fires and fire prevention.
Fire prevention.
Department: Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: x, 114, 16, 14, 69 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Enhancement of fire safety for a selected shopping mall was studied in this dissertation. Special attention should be paid to life safety. A shopping mall was selected for studying the potential fire hazards. Fire hazard assessment was carried out by estimating the fire load for retail shops, rate of heat release for an information counter at the atrium base, and total evacuation time for building occupants. Results were applied to develop appropriate fire safety management plans. Fire load density (FLD) of fifty-four retail stores in the shopping mall was surveyed. Results were compared with the upper limit of 1135 MJ/m2 as specified in the local fire codes. In general, it was found that the fire load is not related to the space area. The shopping arcade would have lower fire load than retails. The former serves for occupant circulation where the latter one commonly allocate 70% to 75% shop area for displaying goods. Occupant loading was also surveyed at the atrium base from 12:00 to 20:00 on four separate days. The loading factor was then analyzed with reference to the Means of Escape (MoE) Code. Several overseas standards were compared for better interpretation. Evacuation was assessed by evaluating the required safe egress time, which should be less than the available safe egress time to avoid injuries and fatalities. The range of the required safe egress time for the whole building is determined by empirical equation to be from 1371 s to 1640 s for design following the code requirement. Smoke management strategy for the shopping mall was recommended with the aim to maintain a tenable environment for the building occupants at the time of evacuation, and to control smoke spreading to adjacent zones. Furthermore, proper smoke control should contribute to life and property protection by mitigating its toxicity and heat. A fire safety management team should be worked out to monitor all fire safety issues. Maintenance plan, staff training plan, fire action plan, and fire prevention plan have to be implemented by the management team. This is an essential part of application of fire engineering approach. A tailor-made fire safety management plan solely for the surveyed shopping mall was recommended. Fire engineering approach is required for new buildings; or for alteration and addition works in existing buildings. Problems encountered in prescriptive codes can be solved. Fire engineering itself has to integrate the building environment, the structure element and its fire response, human behavior and the fire safety management team together. A Fire Safety Strategy Report is required by the Building Authority on any future change in building designs on the surveyed shopping mall. Means for upgrading fire safety in the shopping complex were recommended.

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