This paper aims to describe current trends in probabilistic structural fire engineering and provides a comprehensive summary of the state-of-the-art of performance-based structural fire engineering (PSFE).
PSFE has been introduced to overcome the limitations of current conventional design approaches used for the design of fire-exposed structures, which investigate assumed worst-case fire scenarios and include multiple thermal and structural analyses. PSFE permits buildings to be designed in relation to a level of life safety or economic loss that may occur in future fire events with the help of a probabilistic approach.
This paper brings together existing research on various sources of uncertainty in probabilistic structural fire engineering, such as elements affecting post-flashover fire development, material properties, fire models, fire severity, analysis methods and structural reliability.
Prediction of economic loss would depend on the extent of damage, which is further dependent on the structural response. The representative prediction of structural behaviour would depend on the precise quantification of the fire hazard. The incorporation of major uncertainty sources in probabilistic structural fire engineering is explained, and the detailed description of a pioneering analysis method called incremental fire analysis is presented.