Revisiting the Compartment Fire

Report Date: January 2014

Traditionally, buildings were constructed with compartmentalization to help reduce fire spread. Research into this building style resulted in the compartment fire framework, used to describe the fire dynamics in a typical “compartment”. However, modern building have deviated from the traditional compartmentalization. This paper investigates the validity of traditional compartment fire calculations for the modern environment. It also provides a detailed description of compartment fire dynamics, fuel-limited and oxygen-limited fires, and the effects of ventilation on fire characteristics. The results provide additional insight into fire behavior and can be used to better understand the structural fire environment.


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  • International Association for Fire Safety Science

    IAFSS was founded with the primary objective of encouraging research into the science of preventing and mitigating the adverse effects of fires and of providing a forum for presenting the results of such research.The International Association for Fire Safety Science perceives its role to lie in the scientific bases for achieving progress in unsolved fire problems. It will seek cooperation with other organizations, be they concerned with application or with the sciences that are fundamental to our interests in fire. It will seek to promote high standards, to encourage and stimulate scientists to address fire problems, to provide the necessary scientific foundations and means to facilitate applications aimed at reducing life and property loss. Since its inaugural meeting, the IAFSS has grown to more than four hundred members. Current members come from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States of America. The Association is legally established as a charitable organization in England and Wales.

  • University of Edinburgh, BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering

    The University of Edinburgh has been an important institution in the field of Fire Safety Engineering for four decades. The BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering is part of the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, School of Engineering at The University of Edinburgh. 

    We are a world-class research fire centre with 40 research members from more than 18 different nationalities.The BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering exists to:

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  • University of Queensland, School of Civil Engineering

    The School of Civil Engineering at The University of Queensland is renowned for civil engineering teaching and research in water, environmental, geotechnical, structural and transportation engineering.

Torero, Jose L., Agustin H. Majdalani, Cecilia Abecassis-Empis, and Adam Cowlard. Revisiting the Compartment Fire. Draft Proceedings of the Eleventh Symposium on Fire Safety Science, International Association for Fire Safety Science. 2014. 

Copyright © 2014 International Association for Fire Safety Science

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