MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
This report describes the analysis of the Orange Grove Library in Gulfport, Mississippi, using prescriptive and performance-based techniques to evaluate fire and life safety. The prescriptive analysis is broken down into four components: alarm, egress, structural and suppression. Prescriptive codes are written by consensus, such that adhering to these codes will produce a reasonable balance between cost, function and safety. The performance-based design analysis uses analytical tools to predict how this particular building would perform under specific fire conditions, chosen based on the actual building in place. Life safety is the primary goal of this analysis. Achievement of this goal is measured by the ability of occupants to safely leave the building. This ability is quantified as the tenability criteria listed herein. The findings of the prescriptive analysis indicate that this building fails to meet the prescriptive code for certain egress components. The egress analysis has revealed several areas of non-compliance with the code requirements. Related to the Communicating Space, these include the lack of smoke barriers, an obstructed view from the second floor and an exit path through the communicating space. There should not be an exit through the receiving area. Also, the placement of the egress illumination and exit signs do not correspond to the exit paths. The performance-based design analysis also shows deficiencies in safety. FDS modeling shows that tenability due to loss of visibility begins to deteriorate very quickly, in under a minute for both fire sizes, 4'x4' and 2'x2'. However, the other tenability criteria, carbon monoxide and temperature, are not nearly as dangerous in the first few minutes. The secondary goal for this analysis is to consider the preservation of property. Under most circumstances, the protection provided to the Secure Administrative Storage should be adequate to serve its function. Upon inspection of the library, several fire code violations were observed. These include a blocked exit, maintenance of illumination devices, storage in exit enclosures and storage in mechanical room. Proper operational control can be achieved through education and training of the staff. For this purpose, a fire prevention plan is included here in the appendix.