Assessment and Validation of the Fire Brigade Intervention Model for use within New Zealand and Performance-Based Fire Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
The Fire Brigade Intervention Model (FBIM) has been in use for over a decade and is used regularly throughout Australia and to a lesser extent in New Zealand. Since November 2008, the FBIM has been referenced within the New Zealand compliance document C/AS1 and is accepted by the New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) as a suitable methodology to demonstrate the performance requirements of the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) relating to fire brigade operations. However, the FBIM currently has no New Zealand data available to reflect NZFS operations. At present, building designs are using Australian data which is potentially dated and which has only undergone limited validation for New Zealand conditions. An analysis of building consent applications as submitted to the NZFS for review has been undertaken with specific emphasis on quantifying the impact of alternative fire engineering designs and fire-fighting facilities. This statistical review has indicated that up to 67% of all the fire reports reviewed contained insufficient information to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the NZBC. For new buildings that contained alternative fire engineering designs, the NZFS made recommendations specific to fire-fighting facilities in 63% of the reports reviewed. A review of international performance-based building codes is provided to compare international performance requirements and expectations on responding fire fighters from overseas codes. The NZBC and prescriptive requirements are also discussed for their requirements and implications for fire-fighting requirements. This project presents data that has been collected from a number of sources including specifically designed exercises, NZFS incident statistics, incident video footage and from attendance and observation at emergency incidents. Validation of this data has been undertaken against fire ground field experiments and with real emergency incidents attended during this research. A FBIM is provided based on the data presented in this research using a probabilistic riskbased approach and Monte-Carlo analysis methods considering a high-rise building scenario. This identifies some of the advantages of using probabilistic methods and the FBIM rather than the traditional percentile approach. An FBIM analysis allows the building designer to factor in the effects of fire fighters on the building design and to identify areas of the building design that may need further consideration.