The Evaluation and Improvement of Fire Safety for Existing Buildings: A Development of Codes System

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associated Professor, Road, Housing & Urban Development Research Centre, Tehran, Iran

2 MSc, Researcher, Road, Housing & Urban Development Research Centre, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD Candidate, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Fires in buildings are always a treat to people's lives and properties. Fire safety codes and regulations have been developed nationally, therefore, to attain a reasonable level of fire safety in buildings. In Iran part III of National Building Codes is allocated to this topic. However, this document does not cover the problems of fire safety in existing buildings, and therefore most buildings built before 2016, the year the third edition codes came into force, suffer from the lack of many fire protection measures. In addition, the changes in buildings such as repairs, extensions and changes of occupancy type, could increase the fire risk level and need a review of the new condition of buildings. There is, therefore, a serious need to designated codes for the assessment and improvement of fire safety in existing buildings. To this end, a method was developed, mainly based on fire risk assessment. A system for fire risk indexing was developed in which existing fire protection measures are evaluated and scored. The minimum acceptable scores of protective measures are defined according to the importance levels of the building, mainly for means of egress and total fire safety, and fire risk levels are determined according to the likelihood of fire and its potential consequences. For each stage, the prescriptive or performance-based methods could be used, depending on the complexity of building. At the end, a proper improvement action plan needs to be designed and performed in the building for attaining a proper fire safety.


Main Subjects

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