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Performance-based fire codes specify performance goals and objectives, and permit, or even encourage, the use of modern tools, such as computer fire models, to demonstrate that minimum performance requirements are met. Computer models that are “acceptable” for this purpose must be suitable for the intended use, well documented, and adequately evaluated. ASTM developed four standard guides to facilitate computer fire model selection and identification of sources of data for model input and evaluation. The ASTM guides address evaluation of the predictive capability, documentation, and uses and limitations of computer fire models. One guide also deals with data for models. The ASTM guides are briefly described, and their use is illustrated with an example of a simple compartment fire model, FIRM-Q.
computer fire models, model documentation, model evaluation, model validation, model verification, performance-based codes, performance-based design
Manager, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX