Fire load is the basis on which the potential severity, size and duration of a fire can be evaluated when used in unison with other data such as building ventilation characteristics. Once known, these values can be used to further determine the smoke and heat produced from a fire whereby the smoke produced will be a key factor in the time available for occupants to egress from the building and the heat will impact on the structure causing unprotected structural members to weaken.
Fire load data is used by a range of professionals which include architects, building control officers, fire modelers, fire investigation bodies, fire risk assessors, fire safety engineers and insurance assessors. These are instrumental for a multitude of reasons such as when evaluating active and passive protection systems required in a building, conducting fire scene investigations, modelling the movement of fire, smoke, and gases in buildings and when assessing insurance premiums. They are also useful in establishing building risk profiles when preparing fire safety risk assessments
Fire Load Calculation plays an important role in determining the basis for the assessment and mitigation of fire risks for any industry. This indicates how much heat is released per unit area for a site when its contents and the area are completely burned.
In engineering theory and by compliance, all fire systems of infrastructure should be designed based on total fire load. This fire load is calculated for all flammable substances present and their calorific values.
There are several methods for Load Calculation and can be utilised on case-to-case bases such as Weight based or Inventory based or a combination of both. There are other several associated exercises that help in better design of a fire system such as categorisation of fire load in various categories, allocation of fire fighting equipment and resources based on respective loads of areas, etc.
The key standards used in the study are NFPA 557, NFPA 551, NFPA 1 & NBC 2016 (India) Latest.