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WUI fire risk mitigation in Europe: A performance-based design approach at home-owner level

Published: 1 December 2020
Journal of Safety Science and Resilience , Volume 1, pp 97-105; doi:10.1016/j.jnlssr.2020.08.001

Abstract: Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) are becoming increasingly hazardous for life safety and property protection. Guidelines and standards for fire practitioners are needed in order to help WUI communities face this threat and become fire-adapted. A performance-based design approach (PBD) is proposed to deal with the complex issues present at the WUI homeowner scale, which entails the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools such as FDS in order to identify vulnerabilities in a quantitative manner. An analysis of recent European WUI fires is presented, along with the definition of several pattern scenarios that can be derived from these. Based on this analysis, examples of PBD fire scenarios specific for the Mediterranean WUI microscale are presented, involving glazing systems, roofing and gutters, external structures adjacent to the main building, and gaps present in the building envelope. A worked example to show the implementation of the proposed PBD method is provided in which the fire impact of residential fuel on a glazing system is quantitatively analysed.
Keywords: CFD simulation / Vulnerability Assessment / Wildland-urban Interface / House Loss / design fire scenarios

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