Ongoing Research


Risk and Performance Assessment Framework for Sustainable and Fire Resilient Buildings

This project aims to lay the groundwork for the future development of a wide range of risk-informed performance-based tools for the assessment of sustainable and fire resilient buildings. This involves characterizing the problem, researching and identifying appropriate assessment methods, identifying necessary attributes and requirements for input data, and developing a framework to underpin a risk-informed performance-based assessment methodology. The framework for the methodology will be informed by recognized and accepted risk and decision assessment approaches. Any underpinning methodology is expected to make use of readily available data and incorporate qualitative and/or semi-quantitative methods for the treatment of uncertainty, characterization of risk, and weighting of decision variables. The application of the framework will identify areas of risk to be mitigated based on performance expectations and design variables. In May of 2022, the Foundation granted an award to Dr. Brian J. Meacham (Meacham Associates, USA) and Professor Håkan Frantzich and Professor Margaret McNamee, (both from the Division of Fire Safety Engineering, Lund University, Sweden) to conduct this study. The project will kick off in September 2022. The findings of the study are expected to be published and presented at the SFPE Annual Conference and Expo in October 2023.

This project will contribute to the Foundation’s research portfolio in the SFPE Research Roadmap threads of Building Fires and Resilience/Sustainability.

See also our press release on this project.

Environmental and Health Impacts of Fire and Fire-Suppression Activities During Large-Scale Fire Events

The primary objective of the research is to characterize the environmental and health impacts following large-scale wildland and structural fire events. The primary research will include a literature review, identification of current systems for monitoring large-scale fire incidents, identification of current tools and resources used to quantify the impact of large-scale fire events, and a gap analysis to inform future research.  A research team from FireTox, LLC, led by Principal Investigator Jamie L. McAllister, Ph.D., P.E., and Co-Investigator Brendan McCarrick, P.E., was selected for this project. Findings of the study are expected to be published and presented at the SFPE Annual Conference and Expo in Detroit, MI, USA, October 12-14, 2022.

This project contributes to the Resilience/Sustainability, Fire Service, and Wildland/WUI Fires threads of the SFPE Research Roadmap.

See also our press release on this project.

Beyond the Checklist – A Virtual Handbook of Engineering Resources for WUI Property Fire Risk Assessment and Mitigation

The aim of this project is to develop a virtual handbook of engineering-based resource materials to support fire department WUI property fire risk assessments and recommended mitigation strategies for use in the field. Following the December 2021 kick-off workshop, the tool is currently in development and will be piloted and evaluated in cooperation with select fire departments in the US. A project team from Jensen Hughes, led by Darlene Rini, P.E., was selected for this project. The project is supported by an Advisory Panel composed of fire engineers, fire service personnel, and members of SFPE’s Fire Service Subcommittee. Project completion is expected later in 2022.

This project contributes to the Building Fires, Fire Service, Fire Safety Systems, and Wildland/WUI Fires threads of the SFPE Research Roadmap.

Disclaimer: This program is made possible with federal funding support from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Prevention & Safety Grant Program (FY 2020).

Climate Change, Public Water Supplies, and the Implications for Fire Protection Systems

It is widely acknowledged that the impacts of climate change include more widespread and prolonged drought conditions, increased risk of flooding, rising temperatures, reduced snowpack, and shifts in weather patterns globally. Many of these changes not only increase the risk of fire events, but also place additional strain on the public water supplies that are an integral part of many fire protection systems. To design for more resilient communities in this context, fire protection engineers need to understand the linkages between climate change, public water supplies, and fire protection systems design. Our focus in this RFP is on the built environment and in-building fires, though we recognize structures may be in areas where wildfires and the wildland-urban-interface are also a consideration for fire systems design. A research team from Oklahoma State University was selected for this project, with completion expected in mid-2022.

This project contributes to the Resilience/Sustainability and Fire Safety Systems threads of the SFPE Research Roadmap.