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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Postgrad (School of Engineering)

Postgraduate Course: Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) (PGEE10024)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits12 ECTS Credits6
SummaryThis course provides a training in engineering approaches to applied problems. The student is introduced to the principles of design for the fire safety engineering of various infrastructures, with an emphasis in the built environment. A variety of different aspects of design are discussed (including: flammability, detection & alarm, smoke management, fire suppression, fire resistance, egress, etc.), with particular attention to systems of classification and design applications. The course distinguishes 'prescriptive' and 'performance-based' approaches to design, with an emphasis on understanding the philosophy of design guidance; references are made to more advanced methods and opportunities to use fire science knowledge and engineering analysis approaches, as well as the interface with structural engineering. The overall aim is to build confidence in tackling simple fire safety engineering design with due consideration to any limitations, uncertainties or conservatisms which may be present.
Course description Lecture 1 Introduction to Fire Safety Engineering (wks1,2)
Principles of regulations for fire safety, lessons from failures, intro to prescriptive and performance-based design methodologies
- Some historical context
- Overview of relevant codes and standards (Approved Document B, BS9999, BS7974, Eurocode 1)
- Information on course delivery

Lecture 2 Flammability (wk3)
Concept of 'Flammability' and associated principles of hazard classification
- Standard methods for establishing flammability of different compounds
- Combustible/Flammable liquids
- Buncefield case study
Codes: NFPA 30, ASTM D56-02, etc

Lecture 3 Fire Detection and Alarm (wk4)
Principles of 'Fire Detection and Alarm'
- System categories, including life and property protection
- Alarm and detection zones
- Detector technologies
- Advanced systems (FireGrid)
Code: BS5839-1

Lecture 4 Smoke Control (wk5)
Concept of 'stairwell pressurisation'
- Fundamentals aspects of smoke movement in buildings (BRE "No Smoke with Fire" video)
- Strategies for smoke control, including active and passive systems
- Specifications for pressurised spaces
- Practical aspects of implementation
Code: BS EN12101-6; Bellido et al. paper

Lectures 5a,b Fire Suppression (wks6,7)
Principles of 'Fire Suppression'
- Introduction to suppression systems
- Design of sprinkler systems
- Design of gaseous fire suppression systems
- Dry chemical fire suppression
Code: BS EN 12845:2004; Bryan ch. 7; BS ISO 15004-1/6:2008; Ewing et al. - Fire Technology 'Flame extinguishment properties of dry chemicals'

Lectures 6a,b Fire Resistance (wks8,9)
Concept of 'Fire Resistance'
- Fire resistance requirements as function of building/occupancy
- Compartmentation concept
- Methods for specifying fire resistance of structural elements
- Steel, concrete, timber, etc.
Codes: ADB/BS9999, BS476-20; BS5950-8, BS8110-2, BS5268-4, Eurocode 3

Lecture 7 Egress (wk10)
Understand the principles of 'Egress'
- Prescriptive methods for egress: travel distances, sizing of corridors and stairways
- Simultaneous v Phased evacuation
- Risk profiles
- Human behaviour aspects
Code: ADB, BS9999, BS7974:6

Lecture 8 Revision (wk11)

There is a single assessed tutorial encompassing one or more of the above topics. A formative tutorial will also be completed, with feedback provided before the assessed tutorial.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 120 ( Lecture Hours 22, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 93 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment will be made on the basis of: Intermittent Assessment 20% and Degree Examination 80%.
Feedback Feedback on formative and assessed tutorial; Mid-semester "Start, Stop, Continue"; tutorial exercise discussions; final exam post-mortem
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Appreciate the role and importance of fire safety engineering in the design of modern infrastructures;
  2. Describe the range of approaches adopted, with an awareness of distinctions and limitations;
  3. Justify fire design specifications with reference to appropriate codes and standards, with appropriate consideration of information that may be incomplete or uncertain;
  4. Demonstrate awareness of potentially conflicting demands, i.e. commercial, safety, environmental, ethical, etc.
Reading List
All required materials are provided in course VLE on Learn, i.e. codes & standards (including some technical papers) and various items for "course reading" (papers by Brannigan and Woodrow, plus Milliken carpet factory case study); two publicly available videos are also used, Buncefield (Domoney) and BRE's "No Smoke with Fire"; useful pre-course reading would be Prof Rasbash inaugural lecture, providing some historical context:
Additional Information
* Critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse complex/professional problems and issues.
* Offer professional insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.
* Make judgements where data/information is limited or comes from a range of sources.

* Exercise autonomy and initiative in professional/equivalent activities.
* Manage complex ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.
* Recognise the limits of these codes and seek guidance where appropriate.
Additional Class Delivery Information Taught in a computer lab where students can assess resources electronically
KeywordsFire Safety Engineering,Codes and standards,Prescriptive design,Performance based design
Course organiserDr Stephen Welch
Tel: (0131 6)50 5734
Course secretaryMiss Margaret Robertson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5565
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