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Butcher, E.G., Langdon-Thomas, G.J. and Bedford, G.K., 1967. FIRE AND THE MOTOR CAR RESULTS OF TESTS ON THE PROPAGATION OF FIRE IN PARKED CARS. Fire Research Notes 678


As our City streets become more congested by the presence of the ever increasing number of motor vehicles, the problem of mass parking becomes more acute. Probably the most economical method of dealing with the problem is the use of multi-storey car parks, either or the ramp type or multi-storey buildings having mechanical parking machinery. The multi-storey car park as a building type probably lends itself to system building more readily than any other type of building structure. To achieve economic design in construction the use of light and slender members with dry joints has advantages. Such design methods are at present inhibited by the relatively high standard of fire resistance required by building regulations. Under the regulations car parks of this kind are classified as "storage buildings". The storage of goods and materials takes many forms; in some a high fire hazard is involved and in others there is little or no hazard. A multi-storey car park is intrinsically a rather special type of storage building which is unlikely to be used for other storage purposes. It is therefore reasonable to ask what are the fire risks inherent in such a specialised storage building? If these fire risks are shown to be low, then it may be reasonable to require a lower standard of fire resistance than is needed in storage buildings generally, and this would result in substantial economic advantages. In order to provide some answer to this question of fire risks in multi- storey car parks the experiments, which are the subject of this paper were undertaken. It should be noted that they relate only to a car park in the narrow sense, i.e. a building which provides waiting space only for cars and not facilities for repairs, fuelling, and such ancillary services.

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