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Fire safety for buildings: P118-2013

Buildings layout
and fire
Prevention of fire
at / from

The general concept for determination of fire

resistance of structural elements is based on the
ascertained hypothesis that the temperatures induced by
fire action diminish the resistances and the rigidity of
materials, leading to their possible collapse.
Fire resistance depends on: thermal load, time of fire
exposure, applied loads, structural system, fire resistance
of materials.
The Romanian design norm P118 2013 is based on
requirements or specifications

A basic parameter for evaluating the fire hazard of a building is

the thermal load, which conditions the duration of resistance
under fire and the fire resistance degree. Romanian design
codes do not consider the influence of volumetric and dynamic
characteristics of a building (the area of fire divisions, the height
of levels, etc.) in regard to the evaluation of the fire resistance.
The requirements are exclusively based on experimental data;
the norm P118 doesnt have any specification about analytical
evaluation of fire resistance, hence the inflexible character of
the norm.

The main problem of the Romanian norm is this

relative inflexibility, which renders it impervious to new
discoveries and technologies.


indicativ P118-99, aproved by Ministery of the Interior and
MLPAT, structured in four parts:
PART I Common consideration for all buildings
(Prevederi comune tuturor construciilor)
PART II Civil buildings (Cldiri civile (publice))
PART III Buildings for production and / or storage
(Construcii de producie i/sau depozitare);
PART IV Buildings with mixed destinations (Construcii
cu funciuni mixte).
The 4 parts are developed in 8 chapters.
PART I Common consideration for all the buildings
In Chapter 1 General aspects, the norm present :
1.1 Aim (Scop). Application domain (Domeniu de
1.2 Terminology and classifications (Terminologia si

P118/2013 - General requirements for buildings:

Fire risk and fire resistance:
Fire risk (risc de incendiu) - one of the criteria of
the fire safety quality requirement for buildings set by
Law 10-1995 .
The fire risk represents the global probability that a
fire may occur, related to the interaction of specific
properties of combustible materials and substances
and potential sources of fire, in given circumstances,
in the same time and space.
factors for determination of fire risk;
levels of performance, evaluation methodes,
averages and extreme - established technical

Combustibility of materials and buildings elements:

capacity to ignite and burn, contributing to the heat amount
and propagation of fire.

Stored materials and substances are classified also in

combustibility classes, labeled P1 to P5.

Fire stability

The fire stability of buildings or fire compartments represents the

capacity of maintaining their load-bearing parameters for a given
period of time from the fire start to the moment of partial or total

According to General Norms for Fire Protection aproved by

decree nr. 163 from 28.02.2007, when a fire occurs, the main
bearing structure of a building must remain stable as long as
needed to provide:
Users' safety during a normalized duration of time, which
approximates the time required for evacuation and / or
firefighter intervention;
Avoid collapse, if applicable;
The continous functioning of certain, common, building areas,
as to provide support and access for firefighters

In case of real fire, the fire behavior of a building or a fire

compartment depends on factors like:

nature, composition and dimensions of buildings elements,

layout and geometry of buildings,
speed (rate) of combustion and duration,
technical means for fire prevention and extinction,
ventilation and heat dissipation.

To evaluate the fire stability, we have to consider the fire resistance,

fire behavior, fire prevention equipments and technical means for fire
The assessment of the fire stability of buildings and instalations
where a fire may occur:
- very good;
- good / corresponsive;
- satifactory;
- unsatifactory.
Fire safety scenario: considers the most unfavourable situation

Fire hazard is estimated in accord with thermal load density, qi

- very high risk (risc f.mare)
- high risk (risc mare)
- medium risk (risc mijlociu)
- low risk (risc mic)

qi = over 1680 MJ/m2

qi = 841 - 1680 MJ/m2
qi = 421 - 840 MJ/m2
qi = under 420 MJ/m2

In the rooms or spaces equipped with automatic fire extinction

devices, very high risk can be considered high, high risk can be
considered medium and medium risk can be considered low. For the
whole fire compartment or building, the fire hazard will be considered
that of the area with the greatest risk, if it contains a minimum of 30%
from its volume.
At buildings for production and/or storage the fire hazard is defined
also by the fire danger category.
Civil buildings are classified in levels of fire resistance: I , II , III, IV , V