This paper presents a study to characterize design fires for commercial buildings. The study includes a survey of different stores, which was conducted to determine fire load and type of combustibles and to design representative fuel packages, medium- and full-scale testing using the fuel packages, and computer modeling. The experiments were conducted in collaboration with the Fire Research Program of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) using NRC's full-scale facilities. In total, 168 different stores were surveyed and the data collected were analyzed to determine the total fire load in each of the stores, the fire load density, and the contribution of different combustible materials to the total fire load. The survey was conducted in 2003 in the Canadian cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. The data from the conducted survey show that clothing stores occupy 30% of the total floor area of all surveyed stores, restaurants 13%, storage areas 9%, arts and crafts supplies 5%, and fast food outlets 4%. The data also show that the fire load in stores consists of a vast variation of combustibles with different contributions depending on thetype of store. Analysis of the data found a clear correlation between the floor area of stores and fire load densities. The fire load density decreases as the floor area increases. Based on the survey data, a number of fuel packages were designed representing fire load densities and types of combustibles of different stores. The developed fuel packages were used to perform experiments to characterize design fires for commercial buildings. The results from the medium-scale experiments show that the fuel package representing shoe storage areas produced the highest heat release rate, followed by the fuel package representing fast-food outlets. The experimental data wereanalyzed to determine the relative tenability levels based on the CO and CO2 concentrations of the products of combustion.

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Conference 2006 Winter Meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE
Citation
Hadjisophocleous, G, & Zalok, E. (2006). Experiments fot the characterization of design fires for commercial buildings. Presented at the 2006 Winter Meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE.