In this presentation, we are providing two topics to show how we can achieve a higher level of safety and more resilience in transit systems.
In the first part, the importance of life and property damage in infrastructures due to fire is discussed. The existence of associations like National Fire Protection (NFPA) is living proof of such importance. Mitigating the risk of fire is even more pronounced when those infrastructure systems such as transit systems (e.g.: subways and light vehicle transits (LRTs), airports, highways, and bridges) are mainly used by the public. As such most of the clients and operators of such systems are concerned about the implementation of strict fire and life safety systems in their projects. Although most of these projects are designed, constructed, and commissioned under specific codes and standards such as NFPA, Building Codes, etc., due to variation in code interpretation and project requirements, establishing a clear and solid line between safety, compliance, and risk mitigation are rather challenging.
In this presentation, a baseline for the chance of fire in underground rail transit vehicles such as subways and LRTs is established. Based on the most common design code for such systems, NFPA 130, a few major design factors are selected and through a qualitative risk analysis methodology, it is discussed if the compliance with the code meets the safety requirements or if additional mitigation(s) is required.
In the second part of the presentation, we look into the movement of airborne particles inside a subway vehicle and we look at some possible solutions and changes to the vehicle’s HVAC system to control and minimize the airborne particle movement to address current and possible future pandemics in transit systems.
Nima Eslaminada, Ph.D., P.Eng. - Chief Engineer, Tunnel Ventilation and Fire Life Safety Systems, WSP in Canada
Additional reading: WSP's Tunnel Systems