MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
The following report is a fire and life safety investigation into a new facility. The planned facility is a new Student Center at Taft Community College. The prescriptive requirements as set forth by the most up to date codes and standards chosen for the project are met. The building has been properly classified with respect to occupancy and construction type. Appropriate design for interior partitions and exterior walls have been identified. Interior finish requirements are elaborated so that adherence to these guidelines is made clear. The fire sprinkler system has an adequate supply of water from the municipal water supply alone to meet the calculated demand of the design area. A fire alarm system is proposed, but the proposed design does not make full use of the benefits of such a system due to reliance on fire sprinklers as a primary means of automatic detection. A third fire system proposed is a kitchen fire suppression system which will be dependent upon the competencies of the installing contractor in meeting the system manufacturer guidelines. Egress components are adequately sized and arranged, and occupant densities throughout the proposed floor plan allow for the fastest occupant movement based on the referenced literature. A performance based analysis has been conducted. Tenability was addressed with regards to visibility, exposure to carbon monoxide, temperature, and flashover conditions. Two design fire scenarios from the 2015 NFPA 101: Life Safety Code were chosen. The first involved Design Fire Scenario 1, which was modeled as a trash bag fire in an office. Results of this study found that the ASET exceeded RSET. ASET was set by tenability criteria for visibility while RSET was found using hydraulic calculation methods for the compartment where the fire was located. The second fire scenario involved Design Fire Scenario 6, which was modeled by burning bookcases located in a bookstore. ASET exceeded RSET for this study as well. ASET was set by visibility criteria while RSET was set by a full building egress time calculation based on hydraulic calculation methods. Recommendations for improving life safety at the Student Center include: (1) monitoring special events to ensure that neither decorations nor implements impede the means of egress or introduce materials which present a severe fire hazard; (2) resizing an exit within the Bookstore to match a second exit so that occupants can clearly identify this exit as an alternate means of egress; (3) monitoring for any changes in how areas in the Student Center are used to ensure adequacy of exits and egress components; (4) Adding redundancy for the fire sprinkler water flow switch to fire alarm monitor module connection.