An experimental and numerical study on the effects of leakages and ventilation conditions on informal settlement fire dynamics

Antonio Cicione, Richard Walls, Sam Stevens, Zara Sander, Natalia Flores, Vignesh Narayanan, David Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The one billion people that currently reside in informal settlements are exposed to a high and daily risk of large conflagrations. With the number of informal settlement dwellers expected to increase in the years to come, more systematic work is needed to better understand these fires. Over the past 3-4 years, researchers have explicitly started investigating informal settlement fire dynamics, by conducting full-scale experiments and numerical modelling research. It is with this background that this paper seeks to investigate the effects of leakages and ventilation conditions on informal settlement fire dynamics. Three full-scale informal settlement dwelling experiments were conducted in this work. The experiments were kept identical with only a small change to a ventilation or leakage condition from experiment to experiment. During each experiment the heat release rates, heat fluxes, temperature and flow data were recorded and are given in this paper. B-RISK’s (a two-zone model software) predictive capabilities are then benchmarked against the full-scale experiments. B-RISK is then used to conduct a parametric study to further investigate the effects of leakages and ventilation on informal settlement dwelling fire dynamics. It was found that the ventilation conditions can significantly affect the radiation emitted from an informal settlement dwelling, and as a result increase or decrease the probability of fire spread to neighboring dwellings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalFire Technology
Early online date7 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Informal settlements
  • Fire spread
  • Enclosure fire dynamics
  • two-zone modelling

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