Assessment of fire hazard in timber karaoke music boxes with real-scale burning tests

Wan Ki Chow, C. W. Leung, Gaowan Zou, Hui Dong, Y. E. Gao

Research output: Publication in policy / professional / specialist journalArticle (for policy / professional audience)Academic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Karaokes are very popular places for entertainment in the Far East. Special features are having small karaoke music boxes and narrow corridors partitioned by timber products. Consequent to an arson fire in a karaoke in Hong Kong, the general public is quite concerned about fire safety in karaokes. There had been numerous studies on assessing the fire hazard through fire models, evacuation, and fire safety management; however, there are not yet real-scale burning tests on karaoke fire. A karaoke arrangement with three boxes and a corridor was set up by chipboards at a remote site in China. Two sets of real burning tests on these small karaoke boxes were carried out for studying flame spreading under flashover fires. Chipboards with and without treatment of fire retardant were compared. The heat release rate, upper layer gas temperature, surface temperature of materials, heat flux imposed to the floor, and the temperature profile at the doorway were measured. Results showed that the selected fire retardant passing a bench-scale test on surface spread of flame might not provide sufficient protection to the chipboard partitions in the real-scale arson fire. The heat given out and the burnt areas of the partitions were comparative to the untreated chipboard.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Specialist publicationJournal of Applied Fire Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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