The unit provides students with basic information on scientific principles for fire professionals such as combustion, products of combustion (heat and smoke), heat and mass transfer, response of structural elements to heat, visibility through smoke and smoke toxicity. 


The unit will cover basic chemical reactions and the fire triangle, ignition of solid and liquid fuels, combustion, fire plumes and fire behaviour of building contents and lining materials. The unit will also provide an introduction to pre and post flashover enclosure fires and mathematical modelling of enclosure fires (zone and field models).

Unit details

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Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Interpret the fundamentals of the physio-chemical processes of fire  
  2. Evaluate fire properties of various materials and fire behaviour of building contents and lining materials;  
  3. Quantify heat transfer, fluid dynamics and fire dynamics;  
  4. Review visibility through smoke, and smoke toxicity;  
  5. Diagnose structural vulnerabilities during fire;  
  6. Illustrate the use of computational tools to evaluate the effects of fire  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Assignment 1 (2000 words) 40%
Case Study Fire scenarios (2000 words) 40%
Assignment Evaluating structural properties in relation to fire (1000 words) 20%

Required reading

In addition to required texts, a very comprehensive set of course notes will be available that cover most topics. These course notes will contain further references and reading material.

An introduction to fire dynamics 3rd ed.
Drysdale, D., (2011)
John Wiley and Sons, London

Heat transfer 10th ed.
Holman, J.P., (2010)
McGraw Hill Higher Education, Boston

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