How are the evacuation routes designed in case of a fire in a building?

Fire protection is essential for the safety of any construction, and is based on a set of measures of different kinds whose ultimate goal is to protect the building and people from the action of fire. From the design of evacuation routes to the choice of locations for fire extinguishers.

All the measures taken with PCI systems and facilities will have the basic purpose of minimizing any type of loss (both material and human) and ensuring that the activity of the building can be resumed as soon as possible.

What kind of measures can be taken?

Different measures can be taken to protect a building from the action of fire. From more passive actions such as the development of emergency and self-protection plans or evacuation routes, to more direct and active ones such as the installation of fire extinguishers, etc. To design all these measures optimally, it is necessary to study the construction, the distribution of spaces and processes, etc. All these checks and dimensions are usually done through different types of software.

Dynamic simulations

At Keyplan we test dynamic simulations of fire sources in buildings with the FDS module of CYPECAD MEP (Fire Dynamics Simulator).

CYPECAD MEP is a program for the design and dimensioning of the building envelope, distribution, and installations on a 3D model integrated with the different elements of the building. In this way we can anticipate the facts and understand how the situation will be. Do an analysis of the expansion, speeds, temperatures, and do different tests with different sources. All taking into account the thermal and acoustic characteristics of the building, the electrical and lighting systems, etc. All this can have an important role in how the incident will develop, and must be taken into account for any study.

This type of simulation programs offer the possibility of carrying out very detailed analyses, the results of which allow us to find the most optimal evacuation routes.

How can we mathematize human behavior?

Although the behavior of people is difficult to predict, it is also possible to study the flow of people in different spaces. It is not impossible to take it into account when mathematizing the results and trying to minimize the danger.

This is also studied, for example, when airports are designed. The flow, speed and behavior of people are also taken into account when designing spaces, corridors, lighting distributions, etc. In conclusion, the number of variables that must be taken into account when designing a construction is innumerable. However, it is not impossible to mathematize them.

That’s what we do at Keyplan, among other things. With the help of highly qualified professionals and powerful software, more than precise analyzes can be carried out to optimize any building at all levels.