SR147 Post-earthquake performance of passive fire protection systems (2005)
This project shows that the post-earthquake performance of passive fire protection systems is definitely reduced when subjected to a design level earthquake. The amount of reduction in fire resistance of a 60 minute plasterboard lined wall can be as much as 50%.
This is of increased importance considering that active fire protection systems such as sprinklers may have also been rendered inoperable in the earthquake event.
This is a dual problem considering that a reduction in the fire resistance requirements by 50% may have been permitted because sprinklers were included as part of the fire design. The problem may be further compounded by the increased likelihood of fire outbreak due to disruption of building activities and services.
Furthermore, Fire Service attendance cannot be relied upon due to the certainty of multiple call-outs and possible impediment/blockage of road access. Finally, egress from buildings may also be restricted by blocked exitways and injuries to people, increasing the escape times.