Introduction Community safety is an inter-agency effort towards sustainable safer home construction aimed at reducing risks of fire incidents (Engineering Systems-Barker, R.1991:pp. 38-39). A responsible fire safety program involves contribution and participation of different agencies like building planners, building developers, community leaders and home owners (Wortham, 1997:pp. 66-71). The predisposing factors to community fire safety program are increase in death toll of occupants in high-rise buildings and firefighters due to difficulties of access to upper floors (Timura, n.d. pp. 74). This means agencies like housing and planners need to be involved in designing buildings that make it possible for firefighters and occupants to safely access the building (Lunch, 1994:pp. 29).
This objective can be achieved by adopting SARA methodology. Background of the studyOutbreaks of fire in high-rise buildings present extinguishing difficulties (Engineering Systems-Barker, R., 1991:pp. 38-39). This is due to increased ventilation and increase of velocity of winds that catalyze spread of fire horizontally and vertically (Eisma, 1990:pp. 48-50). High-rise buildings that lack exterior ladders and elevators pose a challenge of evacuation of residents (Evans and Chaffins 1986:pp. 734-737). Limited access to upper floors and delivery of water is characteristic property of high-rise buildings (Fagan, Monte, Powell and Cronici 1998:pp. 33-35).
They lack elevators, exterior stairways and exit routes (Gambatese, Hinge and Haas 1997:pp. 32-41). The fire resistivity of the building contributes significantly to spread of fire (Flores, 1983:pp. 11-14). Death toll in high-rise structures is high if the building doesn’t satisfy fire safety order 2005 and building regulation with respect to inter-building distance to curb spread of fire, presence of standpipes, fire alarms and sprinkler systems and presence of exit channels (Gornick, 1997:pp. 41-42). A building that lacks exterior ladders, rails, and elevators poses a staffing challenge to fire and rescue personnel (Guvanessian and Holinky 1996).
This arises in terms of planning a staging area, lobby control area, planning supply of water and air, rehabilitation area and designating lobby control area. These problems arise due to lack of inter-agency partnership that is a major factor for incident management in SARA methodology strategy. Statement of the problemSustainable fire safety and risk management is a compound problem that requires input from different agencies hence the need for inter-agency cooperation in order to facilitate development of effective strategies towards fire risk management.
Efforts of one agency cannot fully provide effective fire safety measures in the community. This is because there may be overlap of duties carried out by different agencies that would eventually affect efficiency and expected outcomes. The community is therefore not positioned to benefit. Agency independence would also increase economic costs of fire and services. In areas where crime rate is high, the exit routes in the building are shut and occupants of the building are trapped inside the building. There is therefore need for community safety programs to adopt SARA methodology in order to reduce incidents that put the community at risks. Objectives and goals of community safetyTo carry out assessment of efficiency of community based fire managementTo carry out investigation on effectiveness of community fire safety programsTo determine impacts of fire planning and fire risk management as a function of number of emergency incidents, their frequency and outcomesHypothesis for testingHigh-rise buildings that have automatic smoke detectors and sprinkler systems have reduced fore risksFire risk assessment provides opportunity for repair and maintenance of fire safety systems in a buildingEducation of residents on fire safety helps to reduce occurrence of fire incidentsBuilding that is equipped with exterior ladders, rails and elevators provide exit routes during outbreak of fire and minimize chances residents’ deaths and injuries. Fire resistive buildings have minimal spread of fire vertically and horizontallySignificance of community safety studies