DOI: 10.3390/fire7010012 ISSN: 2571-6255

A Systematic Review on Cavity Fires in Buildings: Flame Spread Characteristics, Fire Risks, and Safety Measures

Rajeendra Godakandage, Pasindu Weerasinghe, Kumari Gamage, Hani Adnan, Kate Nguyen
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Safety Research
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Building and Construction
  • Forestry

Fire spread scenarios associated with concealed cavity spaces have been relatively less discussed. The variation in studies with respect to geometry, influential parameters, and protection strategies has been an obstacle to deriving more generalized solutions in terms of cavity fire in buildings. A systematic literature review was conducted following the PRISMA method to identify the conclusive fire behaviour, safety risks, and protection strategies to enable future researchers to address cavity fire scenarios effectively, avoiding catastrophic disasters. This study identified that relative to open-fire scenarios, cavity fires could result in up to 10 times higher flame spread, up to 14 times higher heat exposure, and temperature conditions 13 times higher. Increased toxicity and smoke velocity are also found with cavity fires. Fire protection strategies and their efficiency were identified for a range of cavity geometries. Altogether, cavity spaces, especially narrow ones, cannot be neglected during fire safety, and proper risk identification is required to ensure the safety of the buildings and the occupants in a fire scenario.

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