Correlation Between Firefighting Operation and Fire Area: Analysis of Statistics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study is to investigate whether current statistics can quantify the benefits of fire brigades. A detailed investigation by the London Fire Brigade of most fires in the greater London area has been underway since 1994. The present study concerns 307 fires in non-residential buildings between 1994 and 1997. Times to detection, to arrival of the fire brigade, and to extinguishment of the fire, as well as the process of extinguishing it, are compared to the final property damage caused by the fire. In half of the fires, the final fire area equals the area at detection, and in three-quarters of the fires, the final fire area equals the fire area when the fire brigade arrived. No support was obtained for the hypothesis that the period between ignition and the time the fire brigade intervened correlates with fire area. However, the hypothesis is supported for fires still spreading when the brigade arrives. Both water flow rate for extinguishing a fire and water application time are proportional to the square root of the fire area. Total water demand is proportional to the fire area.


  • Stefan Särdqvist
  • Göran Holmstedt
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Building Technologies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-130
JournalFire Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch