Structural Fire Safety Measures in Developing Countries: Pakistan – A Case Study
Shahid1, S. H. Farooq2, S. Maqbool3, S. Haseeb4
1Shahid, Associate Prof, College of Civil Engineering, Risalpur, National University of Science & Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.
2S. H. Farooq, Associate Prof, College of Civil Engineering, Risalpur, National University of Science & Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.
3S. Maqbool, Associate Prof, College of Civil Engineering, Risalpur, National University of Science & Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.
4S. Haseeb, Lab Engr, College of Civil Engineering, Risalpur, National University of Science & Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
Manuscript received on September 27, 2014. | Revised Manuscript received on October 16, 2014. | Manuscript published on October 30, 2014. | PP: 95-101 | Volume-4 Issue-1, October 2014. | Retrieval Number: F3316083614/2013©BEIESP
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© The Authors. Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Abstract: In developing countries like Pakistan, provisions of inadequate fire safety measures result into occurrence of many fires that cause lot of deaths and economic loss. Here, fire is not taken as a serious threat and fire safety measures are considered as a waste of money. Thus, there is a need to educate building owners and government agencies about the damaging effects of fire and importance of fire safety measures. In this study, three main components of fire safety i.e. prevention, controlling the spread and severity of fire, and structural fire safety have been included. Data on fire incidents was collected from three sample cities of Pakistan (i.e., Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore)to determine the frequency of fires, causes of ignition and relative vulnerability of buildings. 12 multi-story buildings (six each in Lahore and Rawalpindi) were surveyed to check the adequacy of provided fire safety measures. Fire incident of Ghakar Plaza, Rawalpindi has been analyzed to highlight the economic implications of fires. Analysis of fire incidents of these three cities shows that on average there are 3 fires per day, and every 8th fire is severe enough to cause deaths, injuries, property damage and economic losses. Three main causes of fire are short circuiting, gas leakage and cylinder blasts and the most vulnerable buildings are commercial and residential buildings. Most of the common buildings have no fire safety measures at all, and Pakistan does not have any fire safety code to follow. In case of 12 multi-story buildings, the level of compliance with the code requirements is around 60 percent, and, the automatic sprinklers, one of the most effective fire safety measures, have been provided in two buildings only. From the cost analysis of Ghakar Plaza and a model building, it is found that the cost of fire design is around 3% of the overall cost of the building.
Keywords: Fire safety, Data collection and analysis, causes of fire ignition, Fire safety Measures.