Probability of Failure of Building from Fire

by Raymond H. Burros, Research Engr.; Research and Development Div., Engrg. Dept., Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 9, Pg. 1947-1960

Document Type: Journal Paper


The random generation of a small fire in a building, and its random growth into a large fire, which consumes the combustible contents of a compartment, are described by a new unified stochastic model, based upon the theory of the Poisson process. This model assumes unequal compartments and heterogeneity of risk of fire among them. The random failure of the building from fire is then described by a stochastic model based upon both the fire generation model and the lognormal distribution. The second mathematical model improves upon its predecessor by avoiding the underestimation of the probability of failure from fire, for fixed nonstructural parameters.

Subject Headings: Mathematical models | Stochastic processes | Probability | Failure analysis | Fires | Combustion | Heterogeneity | Risk management

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