Fire Load

Fire Load

Fire Load

Fire load, also called fire loading, refers to the amount of flammable material and the amount of heat that can be generated by a substance if ignited within a given area. It is most commonly used to refer to the amount of heat that can be generated by the materials in an enclosed area, such as a compartment or room. The fire load of a room or other area can be used to quantify the potential severity of a fire in that location and so is an important concept in fire safety, firefighting, and construction. A room's fire load is quantified as the amount of heat that would be generated per unit of area in the room if all combustible materials present were burned. In Imperial or United States customary units, this is given as British thermal units (BTUs) per square foot, while in metric units it is in kilojoules (kJ) per square meter. A single BTU equals about 1055 joules, or 1.055 kJ. A BTU is formally defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by a single degree Fahrenheit less than 1 atmosphere of pressure, which is roughly the average air pressure at sea level.