Fire loads account for all combustible building contents including furnishings, equipment, as well as combustible construction components. Normally, most of the fire load in a building results from contents that have been introduced after the construction is complete. The fire load is usually expressed in terms of the so-called “wood-equivalent” weight of combustible building contents per unit building floor area (e.g., in psf). The actual weight of combustible contents is adjusted to the wood-equivalent weight based on the estimated potential heat of contents normalized to the potential heat of wood (8000 Btu/lb). Alternatively, the fire load could be expressed in terms of the potential heat of building contents per unit building floor area (e.g., Btu/ft2).
last modified 25 March 2003