MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
The following report is a fire and hazard protection analysis of a new building. This new building is a self-storage building called ATX Storage locate in Austin, TX. The prescriptive requirements set by the codes and standards used at time of construction of the building have been met. The building has been properly classified with respect to occupancy as S1, Group B and R-3 and construction type II A Sprinklered. Appropriate design for interior partitions and exterior wall have been identified. Interior finish requirements have been analyzed for a better understanding of aesthetics guidelines. Based on the sprinkler drawing calculations, the fire sprinkler system has an adequate supply of water from the public city supply plus a fire pump was added to meet the demand of the standpipes. Some of the calculations presented did not add up and mistakes were found on the drawings after review. The fire alarm system implemented gives a full coverage to the safety of the building protecting the property and stored valuables. Egress components are satisfactorily arranged for this low occupant building, but there is an issue with the egress path from the apartment to the stairwell across the hall, people have to cross the hall to access the stairwell door which makes them exposed to a potential fire nearby.
A performance based analysis has been conducted. Activation of the fire suppression within the storage unit is the goal of the performance base analysis to confirm if the prescriptive requirements are enough to protect the storage unit, what is within the unit and the building itself. Fire scenario 6 from NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, was chosen. This fire was modeled by burning a mattress inside a storage unit that can potentially be full of different furniture items and bags/boxes full of clothing. The result of this study found that the ASET, available safe egress time, exceeded the RSET, required safe egress time. Overall this building is different in the fact that the overall goal is to protect the building itself not to protect the property inside the building. Only a handful of occupants will be present at any given time and they will have time to evacuate the building with enough time. The fire model is proof that in a scenario where a mattress begins to burn inside a unit, the sprinkler system will activate leading the emergency team to respond.
Recommendations for this building are to change the egress path from the apartment on the fourth floor to the stairwell across the hall by connecting the doors through rated walls and not have people exposed to fires and smoke as they cross the hall. Use different occupant load factors for the storage units to prepare for worst case scenario instead of a N/A “value” this is what the current standard calls for. Lastly, it is recommended that the fire suppression calculations be updated since multiple mistakes were encountered.