Evaluation of safe distance of fire shutters in shopping malls

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5 Citations (Scopus)


A large building space would be compartmented with fire resistant structures to inhibit the spread of fire. Compartment walls with fire resistance level specified in building regulations serve for this purpose. An opening in a compartment wall for communication between adjoining compartments would be protected by a fire shutter with a fire resistance level equal to that of the wall in terms of integrity. In a fire emergency, this opening will not be available to building occupants for evacuation and a fire exit door close to the opening is arranged in many local shopping mulls. The fire shutters would be heated to an elevated temperature, when subjected to a building fire and emit thermal radiation to any adjacent compartment. An evacuee using the adjacent exit door close to the heated shutter would receive a thermal radiant heat flux and would cause skin injury. This creates problems for evacuation in a fire emergency. This paper surveys the typical fire shutter installations in 14 shopping malls and 47 installations close to exit doors are reported upon. Typical configurations for the shutter-exit door set are identified. The thermal radiant heat flux from these shutters was determined, in order to predict and recommend a safe distance between the fire shutters and individuals standing at a distance where they would be free from skin injury. The implications are that in typical applications, the fire shutter should be properly located at a safe distance from the building exits. The minimum distance between a fire shutter and nearby exits is thus recommended for typical installations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • Fire shutters
  • Safe distance
  • Shopping malls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture


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