The Design of an Intelligent Building and Solution of the Fire Safety Related Questions – Case Study Example

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The paper "The Design of an Intelligent Building and Solution of the Fire Safety Related Questions " is a perfect example of a case study on social science.   Fire comes about from the oxidation of materials in an exothermic chemical reaction in the process of combustion. It releases light, gases like carbon dioxide and heat. The fire has different impacts on the environment. Some of the effects of fire are positive while others are negative. The positive effects of fire include but not limited to: encouraging growth and sustaining various ecological systems in the environment, cooking, generating heat, light, and other household chores.

On the other hand, the negative effects of fire are its ability to destroy vegetative cover that is essential in controlling soil erosion during heavy rains, destroy property if not properly controlled, and cause deaths in many places when poorly controlled. 1 With respect to this, various methods of extinguishing fire have been devised. These methods include; turning off the gas supply in case of gas fire, applying of water, covering of flame and application of chemicals such as Halona to act as a retardant to flames.

2 In this paper, an analysis of a fire case study, the involvement of the design of an intelligent building and solution of the fire safety related questions have been shown. Part 1 A fire case study in the USA Fire in Chicago, Illinois The fire in Chicago, Illinois happened in October 2003, at around 5 p. m on a Friday afternoon. This fire affected a 37 story, high-rise building, located in downtown Chicago. The fire affected the 12th floor. The building was owned by Cook County.

3, 4 This fire resulted in a significant loss of life due to the locked stairway doors. Furthermore, a clear direction to the building tenants was not provided in case of an emergency that resulted in a lot of confusion when the fire outbreak was experienced. During the fire control and rescue operations, the Chicago Fire Department staged in the stair tower to attack the fire on the 12th floor which resulted in the stairwell being filled with smoke. This prompted the locking of stair doors to prevent re-entry from the stair side.

Therefore, people entering the stair could not escape the stair once the doors had closed. This led to six deaths in this fire located within the stair enclosure. The loss of life prompted the International Building Code and NFPA 101 to address the locking of stairways doors a lengthy period of time that took about 15 years. As a result, corrections and modifications to the Chicago Building Code were adopted, addressing the stair locking arrangements. 5 Recommendations for firefighter response in high-rise buildings were also presented and the most practical ones applied such as the retroactive sprinkle ring of all high-rise buildings. From the above case study, it is important to note that, the fire that claimed the lives of people could have been properly controlled and no life lost.

This could only be possible if the owners of the house had specified the emergency exits and well-defined fire assembly points. All the areas likely to be fire source points must have been properly identified and fire extinguishers located in easily accessible points so that the fire could be easily controlled before the firefighters could arrive to save the situation.

The design of the house was also poor; the staircase should have been placed in an open space where there is free circulation of air. Therefore, for any residential house, the necessary design, emergency exits, and fire assembly points, as well as an effective alarm to alert the tenants in case of fire outbreak on time, should be provided.


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