Modeling and simulation have long been used in engineering. Modeling for safety analysis and safety system design has become common in many disciplines. While fire models have existed since the early 1980s, they have only recently become regular tools across a range of fire protection applications.
Models have a variety of purposes in fire protection. Common applications include evaluating performance-based designs; supporting the development of fire hazards or risk analysis; illustrating principles of fire behavior and fire protection for training or education; testing hypotheses in forensic analyses; and supporting fire research, both as a primary research tool and in experimental design.
Several classes of fire models are available. They range form simple algebraic correlations that can be solved with a calculator, to zone models or lumped-parameter models that represent a space as a small number of elements, to computational fluid dynamics or field models that approximate a space as a large number of discrete volumes.
For a given application, there may be one, multiple, or no fire models available. The intent of this guide is to provide a framework for determining and documenting the suitability of a particular fire model for use in a specific fire protection application. (Hardbound, 71 pp., 2011)