Optimum Fire Resistance of Structures

by T. T. Lie, Fire Res. Sect., Div. of Building Res., Natl. Res. Council of Canada, Ottawa, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 1, Pg. 215-232

Document Type: Journal Paper


The influence of various significant parameters on the required structural fire protection of buildings is examined. In particular, the influence of the probability of the occurrence of fire, the size of the building, and the variation of fire loads and fire resistance of structures are considered. Expressions are given for the probability of failure of structures by fire and the fire loss expectation. By balancing costs and benefits, using probabilistic criteria, the justifiable fire protection measures in buildings can be determined in a rational way. It may be expected, therefore, that with information obtained in this way optimum fire protection measures can be determined more accurately than will be possible by present methods, which are entirely based on judgment and experience. How close the optimum measures can be approached depends to a large extent on the accuracy with which the values of the parameters that determine these measures are known.

Subject Headings: Fire resistance | Probability | Load and resistance factor design | Parameters (statistics) | Protective structures | Failure analysis | Structural failures | Benefit cost ratios

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