The purpose of the study is to investigate the criterion for the force required to open fire doors, and the required dimensions of fire door frames, from an ergonomic point of view for wheelchair users, through conducting experimental studies on passing through fire doors. This study implemented two types of experimental design, observing subjects passing through fire doors, and measuring the force required to open them. The results of the study show that it is desirable for fire doors to have a required opening force of no more than 40N and a width of more than 850mm. When using a wheelchair, the direction from which the door is approached has a significant impact on whether or not the subject can pass through the door. From these observations, it is postulated that in cases where corridors are narrow and there is not sufficient room to maneuver a wheelchair, a wheelchair user will often be unable to evacuate safely to the stairwell if they approach the fire door from the door knob side. Therefore it is essential that there is sufficient space in front of the fire door to bring a wheelchair parallel to the door, and also to rotate the wheelchair 180 degrees when necessary.
It can be difficult to come to agreement on a design fire for designing safety provisions, especially for smoke exhaust systems, while applying engineering performance-based fire codes. A new method is proposed for selecting the design fire for a typical building use. In addition to the common approach widely adopted in many places in the Far East, uncertainties in fire statistics and fire physics are considered by this new method. The Monte Carlo method is used to estimate such uncertainties. This new approach provides the Authority a rational and statistics-based method to work out design fires for buildings of different use.
For predicting the response of a fire detector in an actual fire, it is important to evaluate the transient properties of the ceiling jet, to which the fire detector is exposed. In this study, a relatively simple and yet accurate enough calculation method was developed by combining a two-layer zone model and an unconfined ceiling jet model to predict the optical smoke density in a ceiling jet. The method mutually compensates the weakness of the two-layer zone model, which can only predict the average temperature of the interior upper layer, and the weakness of the ceiling jet model, which is not suited for a closed space surrounded by walls. The prediction formula is validated by the fire experiments conducted using the test fire procedure as prescribed in an ISO/TC21/SC3's standard (draft) for fire detection and fire alarm systems.