A Petri-net approach for firefighting force allocation analysis of fire emergency response with backups

Jianfeng Zhou*, Genserik Reniers, Valerio Cozzani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Fire is one of the main accident scenarios occurring in chemical and process plants, and it can lead to domino effects due to thermal radiation. Emergency response is necessary to prevent fire escalation, in addition to safety barriers. In major industrial fire accidents, backup is usually required in emergency response, due to the lack of emergency response capacity of a single emergency response department. A method addressing the optimal allocation of emergency response forces, specifically considering the front-line departments, is developed in the present study. The emergency response of the front-line departments can reduce the thermal radiation received by the equipment adjacent to the primary fire and thus prolong the time to failure of the equipment, such that the backups have more time to get to the fire scene. The allocation analysis of emergency response teams is carried out considering the dynamic ttf of an adjacent equipment item resulting from the change in time of the thermal radiation received. A timed colored hybrid Petri-net (TCHPN) approach is proposed to model the emergency response process. The probability of preventing fire escalation is obtained from the TCHPN model and the optimal allocation of firefighting forces is determined. A case study illustrates the proposed approach, two scenarios are compared and results show that if a request for backup can be issued immediately according to the fire state, fewer emergency forces can be deployed on the front line department, such as the reduction from 6 emergency response teams to 3 teams to maintain the success probability of 0.91. The influence of other factors such as the position of fire departments and the layout of tanks on the allocation of emergency forces is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108847
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
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  • Allocation analysis
  • Domino effect
  • Emergency response
  • Fire escalation
  • Petri-net


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