An approach for evaluating vulnerability of bridges against fire hazard

Venkatesh Kodur, Mohannad Naser


In recent years, bridge fires are becoming a growing concern, however there is no specific requirements in codes and standards for design of bridge structural members against fire hazard.This paper presents an approach fordeveloping an importance factor for design of bridges against fire hazard.The proposed importance factor takes into account the degreeof vulnerability of a bridge to fire and also the critical nature of a bridge fromtraffic functionality point. The proposed importance factor for fire design, which is similar to the one currently used for evaluating wind, and snow loading in buildings,is validated against previous bridge fire incidents. It is shown through this validation that the proposed method for importance factor can be used as a practical tool for identifying critical bridges from the point of fire hazard and also to develop relevant design strategies for mitigating fire hazard in bridges.

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