Fire Load Survey of Historic Buildings: A Case Study

The results of a fire load density survey carried out in Ouro Preto in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil are presented. The inventory method is used and details of the survey methodology and processing are given. Forty-three buildings are surveyed and the determination of fire load density is made for 39 occupancies, each occupancy comprising one or more rooms, or even an entire building. The average fire load density is 2989 MJ/m2 and the standard deviation is 2833 MJ/m2. Commercial stores are found to be the most heavily loaded but a single maximum fire load density of 14,560 MJ/m2 is found in a drugstore. Because of new extensions of old buildings, some rooms have relatively low fire loads. It is observed that wood contributes a substantial portion of fire load, being 35% of movable fire load and 37% of fixed fire load. Comparison of the results, with those established by Brazilian standard NBR 14432, indicate that measured values could exceed standard values by up to a factor of 10.

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