The unit provides students with an understanding of fire safety systems design principles and interaction between various submodels as described in fire engineering guidelines. It covers developing fire scenarios and design fires based on ignition probability, availability and effectiveness of suppression system and compartmentation and structural adequacy. It also covers basics of spread of smoke and fire in buildings, buoyancy of smoke, principles of smoke hazard management, structural performance in fire, detection and extinguishment and principles of evacuation.


The unit will include an application of the Fire Brigade Intervention Model (FBIM) to fire situations, and emphasizes knowledge about the capabilities of fire brigade equipment including trucks, water pumps, scaffolding, and hoses. Students will be given hands-on-experience of operating the equipment during a field visit to the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:


VQB5612 - Scientific Principles for Fire Professionals

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Recommend appropriate responses to a variety of building fire safety events  
  2. Assess the fire safety and associated risks of a building  
  3. Evaluate various fire safety system options and analyse how these systems affect building fire safety;  
  4. Critically evaluate the role and capabilities of fire brigade; and  
  5. Assess occupational health and safety issues related to fire fighting and rescue operations.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Assignment 1: Fire prevention and fire spread (1500 words) 30%
Assignment Assignment 2: Fire dynamics (2000 words) 45%
Report Workplace Assessment (1000 words) 25%

Required reading

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

Building Code of Australia
Australian Building Codes Board (2017)
Australian Building Codes Board.

International fire engineering guidelines
Australian Building Codes Board (2005)
Australian Building Codes Board.

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

Fire brigade intervention education (CD Version)
Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council
Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council.

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