- Open Access
Selection and evaluation of fire related scenarios in multifunctional buildings considering antagonistic attacks
© Nilsson et al.; licensee Springer. 2013
- Received: 8 May 2013
- Accepted: 4 July 2013
- Published: 5 July 2013
Multifunctional buildings have become more common in the last years. At the same time the threat from antagonistic attacks has increased. This presents challenges for the fire safety systems in multifunctional buildings since continuity of functions, especially those considered to be of societal importance, need to be operational and at the same time antagonistic exposures may present more challenging fire scenarios. A method for selection and evaluation of fire related scenarios in multifunctional buildings, that also considers antagonistic attacks, has been developed. Based on literature review and interviews with stakeholders typical for a multifunctional building, specific problem areas that the developed method needed to take into account were identified. A first framework for development of fire scenarios, developed by the authors in previous work, was refined taking into account the identified problem areas resulting in the method described in this article. The method, still simple to use, provides guidance on how to determine assets needing protection, relevant protection objectives, exposures (both accidental and antagonistic), fire related scenarios and evaluation of scenarios. The method also takes into account the inherent probability of failure for active systems, security features, domino effects and damage to protection systems due to antagonistic attacks.
- Fire scenarios
- Design fire
- Performance-based design
- Multifunctional building
- Multipurpose building
Multifunctional buildings, for terminology see Appendix, are characterized by the multiple social or commercial functions or occupancies located within a building or interconnected buildings. There is a trend when designing new buildings to locate many functions or occupancies within one building rather than designing several single purpose buildings as has been done previously. Almost every major city has one or more buildings that may be characterized as multifunctional, e.g. hosting theatres, a subway-station, a shopping center, restaurants, offices and/or hotels within the same building. These buildings are often open to the public hosting a variety of businesses and tenants as well as a large number of visitors. Often areas within these buildings host important societal functions such as; transport facilities, municipality offices etc. All of these factors contribute to the overall complexity, vulnerability and potentially unacceptable consequences to society if an incident was to occur. An incident in such a building may result in significant consequences as a result of death, property damage and impaired functions that may be essential to societal and/or business operations.
During the last decades terrorism and physical attacks on buildings have continued to increase (Brown and Lowe 2003) adding to the overall complexity and vulnerability for multifunctional buildings. Nilsson et al. (2012) conclude that the likelihood of an antagonistic attack is in the same order of magnitude, for some buildings, as is deemed to be unacceptable by some recommendations, and antagonistic attacks can therefore not be ignored. Det Norske Veritas (Davidsson et al. 1997) for example has suggested risk criteria for individual risk between 10-5 and 10-7 and between 10-4 and 10-6 per year for N = 1 with a slope of −1 for societal risk and Stewart (2008) suggests that the probability for a terror attack on a US commercial building is between 10-6 and 10-7. In addition, arson should also be considered as an antagonistic attack and is a relatively common event. Richards (2008) suggests that 15% of all fires in New Zealand are deliberately lit and for public buildings (retail shopping, cinemas etc.) this may be as high as 40%. Hall (2007) concluded that 6% of all fires in the US are intentional and Simonson (2007) states that at least 25% of all fires in Sweden are intentional. Some examples of antagonistic attacks that can be mentioned include; the subway arson fire in Korea 2003 (National Emergency Management Agency 2004), the underground explosion in the UK 2005 (Handley et al. 2009), the explosion in the World Trade Center 1993 (Isner and Klem 1993), the gas attack on the subway in Japan 1995 (Pangi 2002) and the bombings in Boston, USA, 2013 (Winter et al. 2013). Since multifunctional buildings host a large number of people, critical functions important to society and may be considered iconic buildings or historically significant etc. they are more likely to be selected as targets for antagonistic attacks. This is due to the fact that such an attack is likely to inflict significant emotional and/or economic damage as well as impairment to societally important functions (Brown and Lowe 2003). Further, antagonistic attacks have the potential to cause a long-term effect on society, beyond the physical damage and interruption of services. As an example, Rubin et al. (2007) concluded that the population had reduced their use of the public transportation system within the London area 8 months after the London bombings in 2005 by 19% and Handley et al. (2009) conclude that 45% of persons directly affected by the bombings reported disabling travel anxiety that had interfered with their everyday life. In addition when considering antagonistic attacks these can be considered catastrophic with a high potential of large fires. These large fires are perceived as less acceptable than ordinary fires (Wolski et al. 2000). Wolski et al. (2000) further state that the high-rise fire risk is perceived as catastrophic compared to for example the single-family home building fire. A high-rise fire can be compared to multifunctional buildings as they also are generally large and have a potential for catastrophic events. Wolski et al. (2000) discuss nine risk factors: volition; severity; effect manifestation; familiarity; controllability; benefit; necessity; exposure pattern and origin, that can be used to describe why people require a higher or lower safety level. Many of these factors point towards a required higher safety level in multifunctional buildings, especially if antagonistic exposure exists.
Traditional fire safety design, to obtain code compliance, focuses on life safety considering accidental fire events (Klason et al. 2011) and limited consideration is given to property protection and continuity of functions. Further scenarios incorporating antagonistic events are generally not considered by the building code (Gilbert et al. 2003) and the traditional prescriptive design generally does not account for arson fires since it does not consider the actions of the individual lighting the fire (Richards 2008 Klason et al. 2011). Due to the fact that antagonistic events can be more severe and carefully planned there is a potential for larger consequences, especially if such attacks have not been taken into account at the design phase. Antagonistic attacks, as seen in the above examples, can differ widely and it may be hard to define such a scenario. However, in multifunctional buildings, there is also a potential that other protection objectives than simply life safety are present, e.g. continuity of functions and protection of property that is generally not considered by building codes.
The large number of multifunctional buildings, where not only life safety is of concern but also continuity of operations and functions, and the increased threat for antagonistic attacks create a demand for a method analyzing the fire safety level from a holistic view. Such a method needs to incorporate life safety with regards to accidental fires as well as other protection objectives (e.g. continuity of functions, property, cultural heritage) and the possibility of antagonistic events. Most building codes are reliant on prescriptive rules, however these rules are inflexible if not applied to a historically traditional building (Frantzich 1998). Multifunctional buildings are by definition not traditional buildings even though the number has increased, hence a holistic method needs to be performance-based since such a method defines protection objectives to be achieved (Frantzich 1998) and there is a possibility to consider a large variety of scenarios. Such a method includes the management of hazards more severe than usually assumed for life safety design, fire spread prevention etc. in the current building codes.
Define what facilities/functions/property/life safety etc. (hereon called assets) need to be protected.
State clearly protection objectives for these assets.
Evaluate what exposures or threats (including antagonistic exposures) may cause the protection objectives not to be met.
Incorporate a selection of scenarios based on protection objectives and exposures.
Evaluate whether the protection objectives are met or not for the scenarios.
To develop the method the work was divided into four steps, represented by the four boxes in Figure 1. Two steps (step 1 and 3) comprised problem identification to support development of the method and two steps (step 2 and 4) comprised development of the method itself.
The problem identification steps had two problem focus areas for multifunctional buildings. The first was problems associated with multifunctionality can include a large number of tenants, variety of different functions, different occupancies etc. The second problem area was associated with antagonistic events, e.g. larger initiating events, degree of planning etc.
In step 1 (part of problem identification), a literature review was conducted which resulted in a first framework for development of fire scenarios in multifunctional buildings, i.e. step 2 (part of development of the method). This first framework and the conclusions from the literature review are described in Nilsson et al. (2012), however the main conclusions regarding problem areas are summarized below. The main focus of the literature review was identification of problems connected to multifunctionality and antagonistic events that the method needs to consider. The literature review also comprised a review on performance-based fire design guidelines to give input on possible evaluation procedures for multifunctional buildings. Overall, the literature reviewed included the following: performance-based design guidelines; design fire guidelines; papers regarding multifunctional/multipurpose buildings; design guidelines regarding antagonistic attacks; review of occurred antagonistic attacks and their implications.
In step 3 (part of problem identification), interviews with stakeholders in a selected multifunctional building were conducted. The selected building’s main purpose was infrastructure (transport center) but the building also hosted a large variety of other businesses and functions. A total of nine interviews were conducted with different business owners, rescue services, the safety management team, etc. The interviews were semi-structured, which gave the benefit of ensuring flexibility in how and in what sequence questions are asked, for the interviewees to be able to develop their thoughts and for the interviewer to be able to ask follow-up questions so that unexpected themes could emerge (Mason 2004). The aim of the interviews was to identify additional problems with respect to multifunctionality and antagonistic events that the stakeholders in multifunctional buildings are dealing with. Further, an understanding of how different stakeholders are working with these additional problems as well as protection against antagonistic attacks and their view on such exposures was also sought. In addition questions were asked to support refinement of the first framework for development of fire scenarios presented in Nilsson et al. (2012). An interview guide was created based on the purpose with the interview. The full description and findings of the interviews can be found in Nilsson and van Hees (2012), however the main conclusions are summarized in the following section. Additionally, an extended literature review was conducted on information obtained and deemed relevant during the interview process.
The first framework developed in step 2 (part of development of the method) and presented in Nilsson et al. (2012) was to some extent based on the SFPE engineering guides (SFPE 2006 2007), however with several modifications. Based on the information from the interviews and the extended literature review in step 3 (part of problem identification) a refinement of the first framework (developed in step 2 (part of development of the method)) was done in step 4 (part of development of the method). Step 4 (part of development of the method) resulted in the final method for selection and evaluation of fire related scenarios in multifunctional buildings considering antagonistic attacks. The method is presented in the following sections, however, first the results from step 1–3 are presented.
Below are the results from the problem identification presented, starting with the literature review and then the interviews. Finally remarks and a summary are presented on aspects that need to be considered within the method.
The literature review was conducted using Web of Science search engine for peer-reviewed papers. An extended search was also conducted to find appropriate standards, dissertations etc. The results are presented below.
The nature of multifunctional buildings is to gather many different occupancies and businesses in one building. This results in the fact that there are many different functions provided and that there are many different stakeholders having interests in the building. One identified problem area in Nilsson et al. (2012) is that these stakeholders can have very different views on what needs to be protected resulting in a large variety of protection objectives or goals that needs to be accounted for. For some stakeholders fire safety might not be of primary concern while as others cannot accept an interruption to the functions they provide in case of fire. There might also be interdependencies causing problems further down the line warranting a higher safety level and the protection objectives might be considerably different from what the building code generally addresses (Nilsson et al. 2012).
Fire protection systems
Multifunctional buildings often incorporate a variety of different protection systems such as; active fire protection, e.g. sprinkler system, gaseous extinguishing systems and smoke evacuation, and passive fire protection; e.g. fire compartmentation and space separation. Building codes often focus on minimizing damage to third party by requiring fire protection systems such as physical separation or fire barriers between different occupancies within a multifunctional building and between different buildings. In reviewing previous real-life antagonistic attacks and their consequences it was noted that there is a tendency for protection systems to become impaired or not to function as expected during the course of an antagonistic event. This is especially true for antagonistic events involving explosions or highly energetic initiating events which may result in physical separation or fire barriers as well as the installed active protection being inadequate or damaged due to the initiating event. As an example the bombing of the World Trade Center (WTC), 1993, can be mentioned, where the fire alarm communication system (control center) was lost so that occupants did not get evacuation information, and masonry fire walls and fire doors were voided by the force of the explosion (Isner and Klem 1993). Normal and emergency electrical power was lost affecting sprinkler system as well as emergency lighting (Isner and Klem 1993) and the smoke management system was damaged (Quenemoen et al. 1996). The situation where a single failure (in this case electricity) is disabling several protection systems is often referred to as common-cause failure (CCF) and will be discussed further in the following sections. Other examples, where protection systems have been lost are; the arson fire in Gothenburg where the fire started in an evacuation route impairing its function (Eksborg et al. 2001) and the attack on WTC, 2001, where the structural fire protection was damaged by the plane crash (Gutierrez et al. 2005). Other issues with antagonistic attacks may be that fire protection is bypassed, there is the potential for multiple fires to be ignited which the protection cannot handle or the severity of the fire is too challenging for the protection (Richards 2008). Thompson and Bank (2007) also points out the importance of attacks on fire suppression systems and attacks against evacuation routes. Since a successful outcome of a fire often is dependent upon the effectiveness of the protection systems, special consideration is needed when considering antagonistic attacks. The potential for domino effects where the initiating event escalates, e.g. an explosion followed by a fire where the protection system is affected during the event, is pointed out in Nilsson et al. (2012) and needs to be incorporated in the analysis. Not only do these examples indicate the importance of the protection systems but also supporting systems such as electricity, i.e. damaging support systems could impair the protection system. This is analogous to important functions as well in case they are dependent upon support systems.
In addition it may also be the case that the protection system is not effective in achieving the protection objective, e.g. if an electrical room is of critical importance and the room is protected by sprinklers. In this case soot, heat etc. may cause too much damage to some of the electrical components before the system activates, even though the fire is controlled and does not spread outside the room (Nilsson et al. 2012).
Fire size and location
If a fire is started as part of an antagonistic attack flammable liquids or explosives may be used and in this case the fire development could potentially be accelerated when compared to that of an accidental cause (Richards 2008). This will have an impact on both life safety and other protection objectives. Generally buildings are not designed for arson fires, which is supported by the consequences related to the fire in Gothenburg (Eksborg et al. 2001) as well as the subway fire in Korea (National Emergency Management Agency 2004) with a large number of fatalities. In terms of multifunctionality there may also be sensitive equipment, support systems or rooms of special importance where even a small fire could cause large damage. Such small fires are generally not considered due to their limited effect on life safety, however these fires might be of great importance in terms of continuity of businesses and/or functions (Nilsson et al. 2012).
Both in terms of continuity of functions as well as antagonistic attacks the location of the fire is of great importance, a well-informed attacker might know exactly where to place the attack to achieve the most damage. An accidental fire at an unfortunate location might cause large consequences in terms of interruption to a function. The location of the fire therefore needs to be considered in the light of what is supposed to be protected (Nilsson et al. 2012). Unusual locations, i.e. fire locations not normally analyzed, might therefore need to be considered, for example; in sensitive areas or external facades which is a common starting area for arson fires (Klason et al. 2010).
Security and the aggressor
When reviewing design guidelines for protection against terror attacks and antagonist attacks such as Brown and Lowe (2003), it becomes clear that one of the main protection features against antagonistic attacks are security measures. Security includes surveillance, site perimeter protection, access control etc. and could help in limiting the exposure. If a building has a parking garage, vehicles that could carry potential hazards e.g. large amount of explosives, may have easy access to the building causing increased potential exposure, on the other hand if there is no parking garage the exposure may be limited to what one can carry. Analysis of the security system is therefore necessary.
Brown and Lowe (2003) suggest an evaluation of the aggressor and they state that terrorism attacks are likely to be conducted because the aggressors seek e.g. publicity for their cause, monetary gain or political gain through their actions. Richards (2008) lists the reasons for arson as vandalism, excitement, revenge, crime concealment, profit and extremist beliefs. Brown and Lowe (2003) point out the significance of understanding who the people are that want to cause harm, their means and resources. All this information provides input to be able to determine what the relevant antagonistic scenarios are that could occur.
The conclusions and results from the interviews are given in full in Nilsson and van Hees (2012) and are, therefore only, summarized below. The interviews focused on questions related to the first framework for the method, i.e. “Assets worth to preserve” (called assets further on), “Protection objectives”, “Exposure analysis” and “Fire scenarios”, for further information see Nilsson et al. (2012). When conducting the interviews and visiting the specific building it became clear that to be able to do an analysis of such a complex building, the method needs to be simple enough so that the user is able to identify scenarios to be analyzed during a site visit.
Assets and protection objectives
The interviewees were of the opinion that the highest priority in terms of fire safety should be given to life safety and the second most important to protect was functions deemed societally important, in this case infrastructural functions within the building. Within the building of concern there were many other functions, but the main focus of the interviewees was aimed towards the core functions of the building, in this case infrastructure functions (transport center). Therefore the determination of building core functions needs to be part of the method, which is also pointed out by Brown and Lowe (2003). In order to facilitate continuity of such functions a variety of support systems are needed, examples given were electricity, control rooms, telecommunications, physical infrastructure etc. An example was given where a fire damaged a cable used for telecommunications, and caused interruption to municipality functions. Another area that the interviewees focused on was areas or functions needed to be able to handle an ongoing incident, such as dispatch centrals etc.
During the interviews it became clear that stakeholders who took part in the interviews did not have a clear opinion about protection objectives. The protection objectives were of the form “no one is supposed to get hurt”, “we do not allow any interruption to our services” etc. Additionally, during the interviews the stakeholders raised questions showing that they started to consider these issues more seriously and realized that protection objectives need to be firm and measureable. Further, they had a sense for possible make-up in case there was to be loss of a function but the procedures and potential for make-up was not formalized.
The interviewees associated areas with high occupant density to be weak points of the building, they also considered areas where there are large amounts of combustible or flammable materials together with areas where vehicles have access and where the fire intensity can be large to be of importance. Another exposure that was brought up by the interviewees was areas in which people (i.e. the general population) have easy access and can prepare an antagonistic attack without anyone noticing, i.e. where the security was considered to be poor.
Management and multi-tenant issues
Most interviewees stated that their main protective measures against fire and antagonistic attacks are the emergency management plans and action plans put in place in case of an accident. These plans do not generally consider how to address the fire itself but rather how to evacuate the premises or how to act upon seeing a suspicious bag that may contain explosives or how to coordinate efforts with the fire rescue service. Not all the interviewees had their own plans and none of the interviewees were aware of what plans their neighbor had, i.e. there is no holistic view from the building management. Management and action plans will of course have an effect on the scenario and the method needs to be flexible enough to account for that.
A problem that some interviewees raised was that the tenants within the building had a very different view on what level of fire safety should be achieved and none of the tenants had made an assessment on how other businesses within the building may be exposing their own business.
Fire protection systems
During the interviews there were indications that the landlord was not fully aware of how the fire protection systems within the building was supposed to work, e.g. whether there was a programmed delay from detection to sounding the evacuation alarm. There were also indications that the sprinkler system was not maintained properly. Further the tenants were not aware of the limitations of the protection systems, in terms of storage heights etc., which may result in storage configurations or occupancies exceeding the design limits of the suppression systems. This again reinforces the need to analyze a scenario in which active fire protection systems fail. Further, in one fire case, the fire compartmentation did not fulfill its task and extensive smoke spread occurred, hence the method not only should consider active fire protection systems, but, needs to evaluate deficiencies in, and the reliability of, passive protection systems as well.
During the interviews with the rescue service they stated that there is often too high an expectation on what the rescue service can achieve. As examples of such expectations were given the ability to control and handle technical systems as well as the belief that the rescue service can fight a fire with higher heat release rate than they actually are able to. Another issue that they raised was that their access routes often collide with evacuation routes, making it harder for them to undertake a rescue operation.
When the interviewees were asked what kind of antagonistic threats they could imagine happening, the general opinion was that this is highly dependent upon what the aggressor wants to achieve and the aggressor’s imagination, indicating the need for aggressor evaluation. One interesting antagonistic exposure that was raised was the fact that there was an action plan in place stating that if a vehicle receives a bomb threat, and there are limited means to evacuate the vehicle at its current location, the vehicle should be brought into the multifunctional building for evacuation. This action plan results in the fact that the exposure, i.e. the potential bomb, is actually brought into the building.
Discussion and summary of the problem identification
In the following section, remarks and thoughts are discussed on some areas identified in the literature review and during the interviews. The issues raised during the interviews are dependent upon the interviewees and the choice of building. The results from the interviews, however, have been generalized to be applicable to multifunctional buildings in general. The interviews in combination with the literature review helped to make sure that important issues are identified and that the risk of excluding important issues is minimized. In the next section a summary of identified problems is given.
Discussion regarding the problem identification
The large number of stakeholders within a multifunctional building present challenges as discussed above, e.g. many different protection objectives and goals for the fire safety, the stakeholders do not “know” each other etc. Even though not explicitly identified within the literature review or interviews it is probable that the stakeholders will have different financial prerequisites influencing their goals with regards to fire safety and their ability to achieve those goals. Further, different stakeholders will also have different exposures from antagonistic threats; some will be more exposed than others. Even though an antagonistic exposure may not exist against an important function there might still be risk of exposure due to the fact that a neighbor could potentially be exposed. The number of stakeholders presents challenges as identified above and the method needs to be able to handle these challenges and work despite these difficulties.
The number of fire protection systems within a multifunctional building can be large due to the required flexibility of the building, e.g. large open spaces, varying occupancies, etc. If these systems are integrated with each other, say dependent upon electricity or smoke detector activation there is a risk of common-cause failure (CCF), i.e. a single fault disabling several protection systems (Lundin 2005). This is an aspect that needs to be covered in the method. However, there may be systems that are considered not to be integrated with each other, e.g. if redundancy is provided for electricity by emergency power to minimize the probability of CCF. Emergency electrical power had been provided in the WTC to minimize the risk of a CCF, however the initiating event impaired both the normal and emergency power systems (Isner and Klem 1993). This illustrates that there is still a probability for CCF’s since there is dependency upon electricity even though redundancy was provided to minimize the probability of a CCF. This illustrates the potential for increased probability of a CCF when the initiating event is more severe and widespread, in the described case for instance, a bomb. This implies that systems considered not to be integrated may need to be considered as integrated depending on the scenario.
The need for evaluation of an aggressor when considering antagonistic attacks was pointed out both in the literature review and during the interviews. Such an evaluation should be conducted as part of the analysis, however it is clear that a continuous evaluation and external environment monitoring will be necessary during the life time of the building due to changing circumstances.
The development process during the interviews, e.g. stakeholders realizing that protection objectives need to be firm and measurable, indicates the need for the stakeholders to be part of an evaluation process. Just by performing an evaluation, the fire safety level will increase due to raised awareness. The large number of stakeholders in a multifunctional building means that it is important to determine which stakeholders should be present in order to make the evaluation process effective.
The interviewees divided the weak points into two main categories, areas with high occupant density and areas with high fire severity or high probability of fire ocurring. In the first framework these can be divided into two separate issues, a large amount of people is an asset while as fire severity or risk of fire is an exposure. The exposure needs to be considered in the light of the asset, there is no point in analyzing a fire if it is not exposing the asset. Therefore the initial assumption, in the first framework, that the analysis should have its starting point in the asset is still valid. Further the issue with neighbors becoming exposure risks needs to be covered in the exposure analysis and the method needs to make sure that this is considered, as the interviews indicated that this is not the case today.
In general the interviewees deemed electrical appliances rooms, telecommunication rooms, computer rooms etc. important for continuity of functions. These areas are very sensitive to fire damage, especially smoke and there is a need to investigate efficient protection options for these areas. This might include clean agent extinguishing systems (FM Global 2010), hypoxic air-venting systems (BSI 2011 VdS 2007 Nilsson and van Hees 2013) and the like.
The uncertainties in what the rescue service can achieve in the case of an accident indicates that the efforts made by the fire rescue service should not be taken into account when evaluating or designing a multifunctional building, at least not in Sweden with the resources the fire rescue service has there. However the fire rescue service may be able to help with management, communication, coordination etc. during an incident. This however requires planning and that the fire rescue service is included in the emergency management plans for the facility.
Summary of specific problems the method needs to consider
Problems to consider in the method
Aspect that needs to be considered/addressed in the method
M = Multifunctional
A = Antagonistic
Flexibility so that a large variety of protection objectives can be addressed
Large number of stakeholders
Stakeholders with a high exposure to antagonistic attacks (exposing less exposed stakeholders)
The initiating event might impair both passive and active fire safety features
Common-cause failure due to large number of protection systems and increased probability for common-cause failure due to larger initiating event.
A lot of different functions provided, however not all are of main concern and the most important ones need to be determined
The fire severity, fire development or growth rate might be higher than what is usually designed for (including what protection systems are designed for)
Support systems that are important for functions and fire safety features
Domino effects (e.g. fire following explosion)
Location of fire (critical locations, e.g. sensitive areas, smaller fires where fire protection do not achieve the protection objective)
Security features (surveillance, access control, easy access areas etc.)
How to determine relevant antagonistic attacks (both large scale and small as arson)
First priority should be life safety then the core function of the building
Core functions of the building and relevant stakeholders need to be determined
Areas or functions needed to handle an ongoing event need to be analyzed
Guidance on firm and measurable protection objectives
Flexibility to take into account emergency management plans and action plans
Higher tendency for failure of protection system due to maintenance issues
Passive protection might be inadequate due to maintenance problems
External exposures such as a bomb threated vehicle brought into the building for evacuation
Method needs to be simple enough to identify and determine scenarios to be analyzed during a site visit
The method is still in the developing phase and the method has not been fully tested in practice yet. This is a weakness and the next step is to apply the method on an actual building to test and determine its strengths and weaknesses. One identified focus area to be evaluated when applying the method is how well domino effects are captured within the method or if refinement is needed in this aspect. Such effects might include multiple events such as a coordinated attack with for example a fire and an explosion at different locations but as part of the same attack.
An engineering method for selection and evaluation of fire related scenarios in multifunctional buildings, considering antagonistic attacks, has been developed. The method is based on identified (through literature review and interviews) important aspects and problems, specific for antagonistic threats and multifunctional buildings. The specific identified problems that are taken into account are summarized in Table 1.
The strength of the method is that there is now a process available for a systematic evaluation considering new aspects of fire safety. Further the method is based on sound principles and there is a clear connection to both fire safety engineering in the normal (accidental) case and principles for protection against antagonistic events. The method is also compatible with standards on emergency management and business continuity planning and can e.g. be used in the risk assessment phase of such standards such as NFPA 1600 (NFPA 2013). Finally the method treats uncertainties for the scenarios in a scientifically recognized way, i.e. by choosing conservative values according to the level 2 approach.
Active fire protection systems, AS: Fire protection system that needs to activate as a response to fire, e.g. sprinkler system, evacuation alarm, self closing doors activated by smoke detector etc.
Antagonistic attack: Manmade attack, against a specific target to which the aggressor bear hostility, with the intention to cause harm as a consequence of the attack, e.g. terrorist attack such as an explosion or arson fire.
Security: Security is protection aimed towards limiting access such as perimeter fencing, CCTV, watch service, locking etc.
Multifunctional building: One or several connected buildings hosting several functions (e.g. societal) or occupancies (e.g. office, restaurant) where the facility and its functions is one integrated whole. The definition also includes underground facilities.
The development of the method is part of the project SAFE Multibygg which is funded by a research grant from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.
- Bowen P, Hash J, Wilson M: NIST special publication 800–100, information security handbook: A guide for managers, Recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD, USA: NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology; 2006.Google Scholar
- Brown MD, Lowe AS Report from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Report no. FEMA 426, USA. Reference manual to mitigate potential terrorist attacks against buildings 2003.Google Scholar
- BSI: BS 7974:2001 - Application of fire safety engineering principles to the design of buildings - code of practice. UK: British Standards Institution; 2001.Google Scholar
- BSI: PD 7974–6:2004 - The application of fire safety engineering principles to fire safety design of buildings - part 6: Human factors: Life safety strategies - occupant evacuation, behaviour and condition (sub-system 6). UK: British Standards Institution; 2004.Google Scholar
- BSI: PAS 95:2011 Hypoxic air fire prevention systems: specification. London, UK: British Standards Institution; 2011. ISBN 978 0 580 67920Google Scholar
- Bukowski RW: Determining design fires for design-level and extreme events. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Performance Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, Tokyo, Japan, 14–16 June 2006. USA: Society of Fire Protection Engineers; 2006.Google Scholar
- Davidsson G, Lindgren M, Mett L Report from Räddningsverket. In Värdering av risk [Evaluation of Risk]. Karlstad, Sweden: Statens Räddningsverk; 1997. ISBN 91–88890–82–1Google Scholar
- Department of Building and Housing: C/VM2 verification method: Framework for fire safety design - for new zealand building code clauses C1-C6 protection from fire. Department of Building and Housing. New Zealand: Wellington; 2012.Google Scholar
- Eksborg AL, Elinder H, Mansfeld J, Sigfridsson SE, Widlundh P: Brand på herkulesgatan i göteborg, O län den 29–30 oktober 1998 [Fire at Herkules street in Gothenburg, O county 29–30th October 1998], Report RO 2001:02, O-07/98, ISSN 1400–5751. Sweden: Statens Haverikommission; 2001.Google Scholar
- Evans DD: Sprinkler fire suppression algorithm for HAZARD. In Proceedings of 12th Joint Panel Meeting of the UJNR Panel on Fire Research and Safety, 27 October – 2 November 1992. Japan: Building Research Institute and Fire Research Institute; 1993:114–120.Google Scholar
- Frantzich H: Risk analysis and fire safety engineering. Fire Safety J 1998,31(4):313–329. 10.1016/S0379-7112(98)00021-6View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Gilbert PH, Isenberg JPE, Baecher GB, Papay LT, Spielvogel G, Woodard JB, Badolato EV: Infrastructure issues for cities – countering terrorist threat. J Infrastruct Syst 2003,9(1):44–54. 10.1061/(ASCE)1076-0342(2003)9:1(44)View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Global FM: FM global property loss prevention data sheet 4–9 - clean agent extinguishing systems. USA: Factory Mutual Insurance Company; 2010.Google Scholar
- Gutierrez C, O’Neill M, Jeffery W Report NIST NCSTAR1 – Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster. In Final report on the collapse of the world trade center towers. Gaithersburg, MD, USA: NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology; 2005.Google Scholar
- Hall JR: Intentional fires and arson. Quincy, MA, USA: National Fire Protection Association; 2007.Google Scholar
- Handley RV, Salkovskis PM, Scragg P, Ehlers A: Clinically significant avoidance of public transport following the london bombings: Travel phobia or subthreshold posttraumatic stress disorder? J Anxiety Disord 2009,23(8):1170–1176. 10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.07.023View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- International Code Council (ICC): ICC performance code for buildings and facilities. Washington, D.C., USA: International Code Council (ICC); 2011. ISBN 978–1-60983–047–2Google Scholar
- Isner MS, Klem TJ: Fire investigation report: World trade center explosion and fire, New York, New York, February 26, 1993. Quincy, MA, USA: National Fire Protection Association; 1993.Google Scholar
- Klason L-G, Johansson N, Andersson P: Dimensionerande brand: Anlagda skolbränder [Design fire: arson school fires], SP rapport 2010:15. Sweden: SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden Borås; 2010. ISBN 978–91–86319–53–3Google Scholar
- Klason L-G, Andersson P, Johansson N, van Hees P: Design Fires for Fire Protection Engineering of Swedish School Buildings. In Fire and Materials: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference and Exhibition, San Francisco, USA, 31 January – 2 February 2011. London, UK: Interscience Communications Limited; 2011:159–170.Google Scholar
- Lundin J Report from Department of Fire Safety Engineering, Report no 3122. In Verifiering, kontroll och dokumentation vid brandteknisk projektering [Verification, control and documentation during fire safety design]. Lund, Sweden: Lund University; 2001.Google Scholar
- Lundin J: Safety in case of fire - the effect of changing regulations. Dissertation. Lund, Sweden: Lund University; 2005.Google Scholar
- Madrzykowski D, Vettori RL Report from US Deptartment of Commerce, Report no NISTIR 4833. In A sprinkler fire suppression algorithm for the GSA engineering fire assessment system. Gaithersburg, MD, USA: US Dept. of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building and Fire Research Laboratory; 1992.Google Scholar
- Mason J: Semistructured Interview. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods Edited by: Lewis-Beck MS, Bryman A, Liao TF. 2004, 1021–1022. 10.4135/9781412950589.n909Google Scholar
- Meister D: Psychology of system design. Oxford: Elsevier; 1991.Google Scholar
- National Emergency Management Agency: Fire in Daegu subway - Disasters reports. 2004. . Accessed 19 December 19 2011 http://eng.nema.go.kr/sub/cms3/3_4.asp Google Scholar
- NFPA: NFPA 101: Life safety code: 2012 edition. Quincy, MA, USA: National Fire Protection Association; 2012.Google Scholar
- NFPA: NFPA 1600: Standard on disaster/emergency management and business continuity programs: 2013 edition. Quincy, MA, USA: National Fire Protection Association; 2013.Google Scholar
- Nilsson M, van Hees P Report from Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety, Report no 3165. In Delrapport SAFE MULTIBYGG AP 1–4 [Subreport SAFE MULTIBYGG WP 1–4]. Lund, Sweden: Lund University; 2012.Google Scholar
- Nilsson M, van Hees P: Advantages and Challenges with Using Hypoxic Air Venting as Fire Protection. In Conference procceedings, Fire and Materials 2013, 13th international conference and exhibition, San Francisco, USA, 28–30 January 2013. London, UK: Interscience Communications Limited; 2013:475–486.Google Scholar
- Nilsson M, van Hees P, Frantzich H, Andersson B: Analysis of fire scenarios in order to ascertain an acceptable safety level in multi-functional buildings. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, Hong Kong, China, 20–22 June 2012. USA: Society of Fire Protection Engineers; 2012.Google Scholar
- Nystedt F Report from Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety, Report no 3150. In Verifying fire safety design in sprinklered buildings. Lund, Sweden: Lund University; 2011.Google Scholar
- Pangi R: Consequence management in the 1995 sarin attacks on the Japanese subway system. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 2002,25(6):421–448. 10.1080/10576100290101296View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Paté-Cornell ME: Uncertainties in risk analysis: Six levels of treatment. Reliab Eng Syst Saf 1996,54(2):95–111.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Quenemoen LE, Davis YM, Malilay J, Sinks T, Noji EK, Klitzman S: The world trade center bombing: Injury prevention strategies for high-rise building fires. Disasters 1996,20(2):125–132. 10.1111/j.1467-7717.1996.tb00522.xView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Richards PLE: Characterising a design fire for a deliberately lit fire scenario. New Zealand: MSc Thesis, University of Canterbury; 2008.Google Scholar
- Rubin GJ, Brewin CR, Greenberg N, Hughes JH, Simpson J, Wessely S: Enduring consequences of terrorism: 7-month follow-up survey of reactions to the bombings in london on 7 july 2005. Br J Psychiatry 2007, 190: 350–356. 10.1192/bjp.bp.106.029785View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- SFPE: Engineering guide: Fire risk assessment. Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Maryland, USA: Bethesda; 2006.Google Scholar
- SFPE: The SFPE engineering guide to performance-based fire protection (2nd ed.). Quincy, Massachusetts, USA: National Fire Protection Association; 2007.Google Scholar
- Simonson M BRANDFORSK förstudie [Arson fires – a large societal problem BRANDFORSK pilot study]. SP Arbetsrapport 2007:21, ISSN 0284–5172. In Anlagd brand – ett stort samhällsproblem. Borås, Sweden: SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden; 2007.Google Scholar
- Staffansson L Report from Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety, Report no 7032. In Selecting design fires. Lund, Sweden: Lund University; 2010.Google Scholar
- Stewart MG: Cost effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies for protection of buildings against terrorist attack. J Perform Constr Facil 2008,22(2):115–120. 10.1061/(ASCE)0887-3828(2008)22:2(115)View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning: Safety in case of fire. In Building Regulations, BBR, BFS 2011:26. Karlskrona, Sweden: Boverket; 2011a.Google Scholar
- Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning: Boverkets allmänna råd om analytisk dimensionering av byggnaders brandskydd - BFS 2011:27, BBRAD 1 [The Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning’s regulations regarding performance-based design of buildings – BFS 2011:27, BBRAD 1]. Karlskrona, Sweden: Boverket; 2011b.Google Scholar
- Thompson BP, Bank LC: Risk perception in performance-based building design and applications to terrorism-resistant design. J Perform Constr Facil 2007,21(61):61–69.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- VdS: VdS 3527en – Guidelines for Inerting and Oxygen Reduction Systems. Köln, Germany: VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH; 2007.Google Scholar
- Winter M, Moore DL, Davis S, Strauss G USA Today. At least 3 dead, 141 injured in Boston marathon blasts 2013. . Accessed 23 April 2013 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/15/explosions-finish-line-boston-marathon/2085193/ Google Scholar
- Wolski A, Dembsey NA, Meachham BJ: Accommodating perceptions of risk in performance-based building fire safety code development. Fire Safety J 2000,34(3):297–309. 10.1016/S0379-7112(00)00003-5View ArticleGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.