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Title: Industrial fires in northern greece. The influence of flame retardant coating on timber fires.
Author: Tsatsoulas, Dimitrios
ISNI:       0000 0001 3537 1002
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2008
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This Thesis deals with the problem of fire protection mainly in industrial units in the region of Northern Greece. The region represents a large enough sample to allow applications of the findings to the rest of Greece. The approach adopted was two Parts: Part 1: Collection and analysis of ali significant industrial fires in Northern Greece between 1999-2003. Fire incident data were gathered from the Greek Fire Service, National Statistical service, Greek Insurance Union. In total seven hundred and three (703) fire incidents were analyzed. Analysis involved categorizing according industry type. Further analysis for the biggest categories of Timber and Textile industries with respect to place of origin, ignition sources, first ignited materials, time of ignition, degree of spread, financial loss. The data were further processed to provide the probability of fire breaking, fire spread and the expected financial loss was determined using Extreme Value Theory. The main finding ofthe statistical analysis were: • Although the Textile and Timber industries account for lees than 6% of the industrial units they account for 47% ofall fire incidents • The largest values of probability of fires breaking -out were' mostly seen in the ' production and machinery areas, due to electricity, followed by fires breaking in storage areas due to electrical causes or arson. • Event tree analysis showed that the' probability of the fire spreading beyond the item first ignited was large(about 70%) for Textile and Timber industries in comparison. to other countries. The statistical analysis showed clearly that prevention of fire spread beyond the first item ignited would have a major impact on the reduction of fire losses. 24% of first-ignited materials were wooden surfaces. In the category of timber industries alone, this figure was 55%. -. ~ ,'.. ~ ....- -.' .•. Part2 : As a possible solution to the problem the effect of three (3) typical intumescent flame retardants (latest technology) on the most common types of Timber in Greek industries was examined in small (cone calorimeter) and medium scale (1m3 enclosed fire rig) experiments combined with online effluent gas analysis equipment (FTIR). Analysis involved thermal behavior, smoke production and toxic species analysis of the samples. The main findings ofthe experimental analysis were: • No ignition' and lower toxic emissions compared to untreated samples were . observed at 35kW/m2 (small scale). • The same behavior was observed in those cases where wooden surfaces located next to ignition source had been treated (medium scale). As a next step the experimental and statistical data was employed in an event-tree analysis for cases of fires in Timber industries Based in this analysis it was estimated that the probability of a fire spreading beyond the first ignited materials in case of treatment with - . . -- - ._- flame retardants reduced by 58% A tentative cost benefit analysis using a typical industrial unit supported the use of flame retardants on a financial basis with a payback period of two (2) years. It is proposed that the application of intumescent flame retardants on wooden surfaces located close to ignition sources in the most probable areas for a fire to break out, could be a safe and effective approach in reducing fire losses in industries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available