A Guideline for the Fire Design of Shopping Centres
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering in Fire Engineering
This report provides guidelines for the specific fire engineering design of low-rise sprinklered shopping centres in New Zealand. Shopping centres have particular attributes that contribute to fire safety, including their layout with wide malls leading to large exits to the outside, large access routes between levels for shopper movement, occupants that are generally alert and mobile and a level of management control. The features of shopping centres are outlined including their attributes which relate to fires and fire safety. The report includes a study of fires in shopping centres including case studies of fires in shopping centres, simulated fire tests and fire locations. A survey was undertaken of nine shopping centres in New Zealand. The survey looked at the aspects of shopping centres that may have an influence on fire safety. The results of the survey are included in the report. Design fires for shopping centres are broadly divided into 3 classes as a function of fire size: Cl (fires which are kept small without the presence of sprinklers), C2 (fires controlled by the presence of sprinklers) and C3 (fires which are uncontrolled by sprinklers). A design procedure is proposed in which scenario analysis is used to demonstrate fire safety in the event of a C2 or C3 fire. The likelihood of a C3 fire occurring in a shopping centre with a soundly managed sprinkler system is very small, therefore the C2 fire is the primary design fire. In a C3 fire, however,. the occupants must be able to escape from the building. In the event of a C2 fire, the smoke management system is designed such that the mall remains tenable, giving an 'infinite' time for the occupants to egress. The C3 fire is the fire used for the design of the fire resistance of the structural and containment elements. It is also the secondary design fire for the smoke management system.The requirements for the detection and sprinkler system, containment elements, the structure, smoke management systems, surface finishes, the Fire Service and fire fighting and property protection are outlined.