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A Physically-Based Model for Urban Fire Spread

Himoto, K. and Tanaka, T., 2003. A Physically-Based Model for Urban Fire Spread. Fire Safety Science 7: 129-140. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.7-129


An attempt is made to develop a physically-based model for simulating urban fire spread. In the model, urban fire is regarded as an ensemble of multiple building fires. The model consists of two sub-models, i.e. the model to predict the building fire behavior under the exposure of heating from other building fires and the model to predict the thermal environment caused by building fires. The building fire model is based on single zone method, applying control volumes to compartments in a building. When the external heating, whether it is from the same building or from other buildings, exceeds the critical heat flux, the fire load in the compartment ignites and burns. For the thermal environment model, thermal radiation and fire-induced plume are considered as the factors of building-to-building fire spread. The model is applied to a fictitious urban district where 49 multi-room buildings are arrayed in a simple configuration.


fire spread, urban fire, post-earthquake fire, zone model

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