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ASET/RSET -analysis

Introduction

• Assessment of the possibility of life loss


• Tenability calculation takes into account the toxicity and thermal
conditions.
• Concept of ASET / RSET –comparison
• Visibility indirectly contributes to tenability.  Smoke is usually
the most severe threat for people in fires.
• The danger is examined from the viewpoint of immediate
consequences that limit the capability of people to escape
(assuming average tolerances).
• Long-term consequences are not examined.

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ASET / RSET assessment

Ultimate evaluation of life safety is to compare the time available for


escape with time required for escape:
ASET: Available Safe Escape Time
RSET: Required Safe Escape Time

ASET > RSET + 

ASET = time from ignition to loss of tenability


RSET = time from ignition to escape
 = safety margin

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ASET / RSET calculation requirements

ASET RSET
• Fire scenario (HRR, yields • Detection time
of soot and toxic gases) • Alarm time
• Location of fire • Reaction time
• Smoke transport • Movement time
• Temperature • Distributions / single value
• Heat flux • Special considerations
• Dose and effect • people returning to burning
calculation building
• Comparison against • Pre-warnings / confirmation
critical values in large systems

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Tenability limit evaluation questions

What is a meaningful tenability limit?


• Conditions causing death?
• Severe injury?
• Loss of consciousness?
Where should the limit be evaluated?
• Original location?
• Near exit?
• Along the path of persons movement?

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Toxic hazard in fires
Toxic hazard

• System property of large-scale fires.


• Involves different effects with different time scales.
• Combination of production-transport-dose-effect.
• Two main classes of toxic effects
• Asphyxiant = Oxygen replacement in hemoglobin (lamaannuttava)
• Irritant (Ärsytys)
• Very few ’super toxic’ products
• Metrics:
• LC50 = lethal concentration (50 % of mice died)
• Critical dose W = LC50  t; (e.g.. 30 min LC50)
• RD50 = concentration causing 50 % decrease in respiration rate.

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Toxic gases: Asphyxiants
• Some combustion products reduce the O2 concentration in blood
flow and in nervous system, causing unconsciousness and death.
• Effect depends on the concentrations and the duration of exposure.
• E.g.: CO. HCN. CO2 and O2 –reduction.
• CO is the most common asphyxiant – few thousand ppm will cause the
loss of activity in minutes.
• HCN is about 25 times more toxic than CO – 200 ppm is enough to stop
activity in minutes. (Knockdown –effect).
• O2 -reduction is not harmful if volume fraction (O2) > 13%.
• Usually CO2 does not have an asphyxiant effect in fires. But only 2%
concentration will cause hyperventilation  amplifies the other
effects.

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Toxic gases: Irritants
• Irritation in sensory organs: eyes. nose. mouth. throat. respiratory
tract  uncomfort, pain.
• Most effects are not permanent. and thus depend on
concentration rather than exposure time.
• E.g.: HCl
• 30 min LC50 = 1600…6000 ppm
• RD50 = 309 ppm (depression of respiratory rate to 50 % in short
exposure)
• Effects in eyes and upper respiratory tract can hamper or even
prevent self-imposed escape.
• Lung exposure can cause problems. even death. after the fire.

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Toxic potency

• Capability of a
substance to cause
toxic conditions as a
lethal concentration
(LC50) or irritanct
concentration for
incapacitation (RD50).
• Measured as lethal
mass concentration
(g/m3)

WVF = well-ventilated flaming


VF = vitiated flaming 9/20/2018
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Carbon monoxide C  t -product for
incapacitation and death

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Modelling the loss of activity due to the
Carbon Monoxide
• Assume that CO is the only affecting gas.
• Maximum time (min) that an average person is able to function
depends on the air CO concentration (ppm) as follows
36232
tCO (min)  1.036
CCO
• For time dependent CO concentration (it usually is), the time t
(min) can be calculated from integral

 C (t ' ) 
t
1.036
CO dt '  36232
0

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Fractional Effective Dose (FED)

• Time for the loss of consciousness at constant CHCN (ppm):


1.2  106
t HCN (min)  2.36
C HCN
• In the presence of both CO and HCN
t CCO (t ' ) 1.036 dt '  t CHCN (t ' ) 2.36 dt '
FEDCO,HCN (t )  
0 36232 0 1.2  106
where CCO(ppm), CHCN(ppm) and t(min)
• Average person will stop activity when FED=1.
• What would be a good design criterion?

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FED: CO2 and O2 effects
• For CO2 concentrations above 2%, the previous FED formula is
multiplied by the factor of respiratory increase
exp0.1930CCO 2 (%)  2.0004 
HVCO2 
7.1
• In addition, the lack of oxygen will add an extra term
t
dt '
FEDO2 (t )  
0
exp8.13  0.5420.9  CO 2 (t ' )
• Total FED

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Hydrogen Chloride (HCl)
• Strong irritation symptoms start at 100 ppm.
• If HCl is the only toxic species, an average person can withstand
a short time at 1000 ppm (1 permill).
• If CHCl > 1000 ppm, escape may not be possible.
• Empirical observation: irritant smoke reduces the walking speed
in evacuation or escape situations.

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Fractional Irritant Concentration (FIC)

• A theoretical model for calculating the irritant effects, with little


empirical evidence. Assume linear summation is possible
CHCl
FICirr   FICHBr  FICHF  ...
C irr
HCl,

FICHCl Gas Cirr (ppm)

• FIC 1  Escape slower. HCl 200

HBr 200
• FIC >> 1  Escape not possible. HF 120
• Note: Cirr. as well as other toxicity SO2 30
values have strong (even order of NO2 80 (5 min). 25 (30 min)
magnitude) differences between C3H4O 20
literature sources. CH2O 30

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Fractional Leathal Dose (FLD50)

• Large inhaled dose of irritants can cause severe injury or death


some hours later.

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Tenability limits summary

unpleasant severe
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Yield of toxic species

• Simple model for species concentrations assumes that the


production rate of chemical substances (kg/sm2) is proportional
to the fuel evaporation (pyrolysis) rate:

m i  Yi m 

• Yi = yield of substance i (kg/kg)


• Ideal yields can be calculated from the reaction formula.
Otherwise we will use experimental data.

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Yields in fuel-controlled fires

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𝒎𝒇𝒖𝒆𝒍 /𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒓
Effect of ventilation 𝝓=
𝒎𝒇𝒖𝒆𝒍 /𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒓
𝒔𝒕

Handbook values are typically constants at well-ventilated


conditions. In reality, yields of soot, irritant gases, CO and HCN
highly depend on the availability of oxygen.

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Effect of ventilation on HCN

Purser, D., Purser, J. 9th Int. Symposium of IAFSS, 2008, pp 1117-1128. 9/20/2018
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http://www.iafss.org/publications/fss/9/1117/view
Thermal hazard in fires
Tolerance to convected heat

• Hyperthermia
• Skin burns (pain starts when
T ( =0.1 mm) = 44.8 C
• Damage to respitory trackt

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Radiative heat flux at skin

• Human skin can withstand radiative heat flux that is lower than
2.5 kW/m2.
• Heat fluxes above 2.5 kW/m2 cause burns. The time to the burn
formation, t (min), decreases quickly, when the heat flux
increases:
r
t  1,33
q 

More:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops/hid_circs/technical 9/20/2018
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_osd/spc_tech_osd_30/spctecosd30.pdf
More about effect of thermal radiation

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Smoke visibility
Attenuation coefficient K
• Extinction coefficient K is proportional to
soot mass concentration:

K = Km  C s
Km = specific extinc. coeff. (m2/kg)
Cs = soot concentration (kg/m3)
NASA
• 2
Flaming fire of wood and plastics: Km ~ 7600 m /kg
• Pyrolysis of wood and plastic (e.g. smoldering) Km ~ 4400 m2/kg
• The numbers above are for polychromatic light.
• For red light: Km = 8700  1140 m2/kg.
• Note: Km ~ 1/

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Visibility in smoke: Bouguer’s law

• Bouguer law (Beer-Lambert law): The intensity of light passing a


layer of smoke is
I / I0 = exp(-KL)

where I0 = incoming intensity


I = outgoing intensity
L = optical path length (m)
K = extinction coefficient (m-1)
• Decimal version:
I / I0 = 10-ODL
where OD = optical density (m-1)
K = 2.3OD

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Visibility in smoke: experimental

Visibility S (m)
Light-emitting signs: K  S = 8
Reflecting signs: KS=3

Note: Irritant effects not


considered.

Behaviour
• People turn back (in average)
when S = 3 m (OD = 0.33 1/m,
K = 0.73 1/m)
• Way finding constraint is 5 m visibility
in domestic enclosures, 10 m in large enclosures 9/20/2018
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Walking speed

Experimental parameters
• Known / unknown environment
• Irritant / non-irritant
• Light

VTT Technology 70

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Smoke effects:
FDS+Evac implementation
Walking speed

Agents do not stop completely due to the poor visibility.


Reduction follows the linear correlation of Frantzich and Nilsson

 
v ( K )  max 0.1 m/s, v 0 1  0.0807 K 

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Toxicity

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Summary and future
prospects
Classical evacuation time calculation

tevac <   tsafe

• Expert judgement Safety factor


• Expert judgement
• Prescribed • Prescribed
• Hand calculations • Hand calculations
• Evacuation simulations • Fire simulations

NO INTERACTINO BETWEEN
EVACUATION AND FIRE

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Modern evacuation simulations
0.15 ”Safety factor”

density
Todennäköisyystiheys
0.10
Ennen:
tevac < tsafe 

Profability
0.05

0.00
0 15 30 45 60
Time (min)
Aika (min)

Evacuation simulations Fire simulations

Most evacuation simulations do not interact with fire, though.


Some models enable zone-model coupling.

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Future of evacuation simulations
0.15 Number
UHRIEN of fatalities
ARVIOITU LUKUMÄÄRÄ
Todennäköisyystiheys

0.10 tevac < tsafe 0 5 10 15 20 25 30

VUOSITASOLLA
1E-03

of (n>N)

0.05

0.00
0 15 30 45 60
1E-04
Aika (min)

frequency
1E-05

TODENNÄKÖISYYS
Interactive fire and evacuation
simulaitons. 1E-06

Not just tevac < tsafe but F-N –curve

Annual
1E-07

See statistics lecture for an


1E-08
example of building fire F-N curves
from real world.

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