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Significance and Use
The process of model evaluation is critical to establishing both the acceptable uses and limitations of fire models. It is not possible to evaluate a model in total; instead, this guide is intended to provide a methodology for evaluating the predictive capabilities for a specific use. Validation for one application or scenario does not imply validation for different scenarios. Several alternatives are provided for performing the evaluation process including: comparison of predictions against standard fire tests, full-scale fire experiments, field experience, published literature, or previously evaluated models.
The use of fire models currently extends beyond the fire research laboratory and into the engineering, fire service and legal communities. Sufficient evaluation of fire models is necessary to ensure that those using the models can judge the adequacy of the scientific and technical basis for the models, select models appropriate for a desired use, and understand the level of confidence which can be placed on the results predicted by the models. Adequate evaluation will help prevent the unintentional misuse of fire models.
This guide is intended to be used in conjunction with other guides under development by Committee E05. It is intended for use by:
Model Developers—To document the usefulness of a particular calculation method perhaps for specific applications. Part of model development includes identification of precision and limits of applicability, and independent testing.
Model Users—To assure themselves that they are using an appropriate model for an application and that it provides adequate accuracy.
Developers of Model Performance Codes—To be sure that they are incorporating valid calculation procedures into codes.
Approving Officials—To ensure that the results of calculations using mathematical models stating conformance to this guide, cited in a submission, show clearly that the model is used within its applicable limits and has an acceptable level of accuracy.
Educators—To demonstrate the application and acceptability of calculation methods being taught.
This guide is not meant to describe an acceptance testing procedure.
The emphasis of this guide is numerical models of fire evolution.
The precision of a model refers to the deterministic capability of a model and its repeatability.
The accuracy of a model refers to how well the model replicates the evolution of an actual fire.
1.1 This guide provides a methodology for evaluating the predictive capabilities of a fire model for a specific use. The intent is to cover the whole range of deterministic numerical models which might be used in evaluating the effects of fires in and on structures.
1.2 The methodology is presented in terms of four areas of evaluation:
1.2.1 Defining the model and scenarios for which the evaluation is to be conducted,
1.2.2 Verifying the appropriateness of the theoretical basis and assumptions used in the model,
1.2.3 Verifying the mathematical and numerical robustness of the model, and
1.2.4 Quantifying the uncertainty and accuracy of the model results in predicting of the course of events in similar fire scenarios.
1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.4 This fire standard cannot be used to provide quantitative measures.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
E176 Terminology of Fire Standards
E603 Guide for Room Fire Experiments
E1591 Guide for Obtaining Data for Deterministic Fire Models
ICS Number Code 13.220.01 (General standards related to fire protection)
UNSPSC Code 46190000(Fire protection)