Investigating Numerically the Effect of Wind on Fire Spread Between Two Informal Settlements Dwellings

Mohamed Beshir, Mohamed Mohamed, sallam kouritem, C K Lemmertz, Felipe Roman Centeno, David Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Previous full-scale fire studies revealed that the role of wind on fire spread between informal settlement dwellings was critical. However, the influence of wind conditions on informal settlement dwellings fire spread is currently understudied in the literature. This study aimed to investigate the effect of external wind conditions on fire spread between two informal settlement dwellings with a distance of 1 meter between them. A parametric numerical analysis was performed using the computational fluid dynamics code Fire Dynamics Simulator. The numerical models were benchmarked through laboratory experiments. The investigation included an analysis of the fire spread mechanism, flashover conditions, and heat transfer processes at the boundaries of the dwellings. Simulations were conducted with burning wood cribs as fuel and three wind speeds (6 m/s, 10 m/s, and 14 m/s) with four wind directions (East, West, South, and North). Results showed that wind speed and direction had a significant impact on the fire dynamics of the origin dwelling and its spread to neighboring dwellings. The wind direction also influenced the time to flashover in both dwellings, with a delay observed when the wind flowed through the alley between the two dwellings. The total heat transfer coefficient was found to be directly proportional to the wind speed for all directions. The internal radiative heat transfer coefficient of one wall was found to represent the total heat transfer coefficient in different scenarios. This study highlights the complexity of determining the role of wind in urban fire spread and underscores the need for further research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFire Technology
Early online date6 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2023


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