In a car fire, thermal radiation poses a major threat to people and adjacent cars. Thus, estimations of fire safety distances are of great significance for the evacuation assignment and parking lot design. In the present full-scale experiment of a minivan car fire, the left cooling fan in the engine compartment was ignited as the origin of fire. The burn down of front bumper and windows markedly affected the fire intensity in engine and passenger compartment respectively. In the burning process, the peak heat release rate reached maximum value of 3.38 MW when gasoline leaked out. The flame model was assumed to be a superposition of several cuboids for the estimation of view factors of the fire. The average radiative fractions in the intense burning phases of engine and passenger compartments were first determined as 0.469 and 0.589, respectively, based on the burning behavior analysis. The resulting values allowed for the determination of thermal radiation in spatial positions and fire safety distances in the lateral side of the car for people and adjacent cars, which was an extension of previous researches of considering only the thermal radiation in certain positions. The calculation results of thermal radiation were in good agreement with the previous experimental data. The fire safety distances in the lateral direction of the car for people without protection and adjacent cars in this study, as examples, were about 7.3 m and 2.1 m respectively under threshold values of heat fluxes.
Minivan passenger car fire Burning behaviors Fire safety distance Fire spread Thermal radiation hazard
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Ahrens M (2017) Trends and patterns of US fire loss. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Quincy, MA, USAGoogle Scholar
Alvares N, Staggs K, Rein G (2007) Investigation of a fatal fire in a moving vehicle. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Edinburgh, pp 800–809. http://hdl.handle.net/1842/4444
Mangs J, Keski-Rahkonen O (1994) Characterization of the fire behaviour of a burning passenger car. Part I: car fire experiments. Fire Saf J 23(1):17–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mangs J, Keski-Rahkonen O (1994) Characterization of the fire behaviour of a burning passenger car. Part II: parametrization of measured rate of heat release curves. Fire Saf J 23(1):37–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Khan MM, Tewarson A, Chaos M (2016) Combustion characteristics of materials and generation of fire products. In: SFPE Handbook of fire protection engineering. Springer, Berlin, pp 1143–1232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Park Y, Ryu J, Ryou HSJE (2019) Experimental study on the fire-spreading characteristics and heat release rates of burning vehicles using a large-scale calorimeter. Energies 12(8):1465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wan H, Gao Z, Ji J, Zhang YJE (2019) Experimental study on flame radiant heat flux from two heptane storage pools and its application to estimating safety distance. J Hazard Mater 369:116–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chaos MJ (2017) Determination of separation distances inside large buildings. Fire Technol 53(1):249–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar