ISO 13571:2007 is only one of many tools available for use in fire safety engineering. It is intended to be used in conjunction with models for analysis of the initiation and development of fire, fire spread, smoke formation and movement, chemical species generation, transport and decay and people movement, as well as fire detection and suppression. ISO 13571:2007 is to be used only within this context.
ISO 13571:2007 is intended to address the consequences of human exposure to the life threat components of fire as occupants move through an enclosed structure. The time-dependent concentrations of fire effluents and the thermal environment of a fire are determined by the rate of fire growth, the yields of the various fire gases produced from the involved fuels, the decay characteristics of those fire gases and the ventilation pattern within the structure. Once these are determined, the methodology presented in ISO 13571:2007 can be used for the estimation of the available escape time.
ISO 13571:2007 provides guidance on establishing the procedures to evaluate the life threat components of fire hazard analysis in terms of the status of exposed human subjects at discrete time intervals. It makes possible the determination of a tenability endpoint, at which time it is estimated that occupants are no longer able to take effective action to accomplish their own escape. The life threat components addressed include fire-effluent toxicity, heat and visual obscuration due to smoke. Two methods are presented for assessment of fire-effluent toxicity: the toxic-gas model and the mass-loss model.
ISO 13571:2007 does not consider aspects such as the initial impact of visual obscuration due to smoke on factors affecting the time required for occupants to escape, the toxic effects of aerosols and particulates and any interactions with gaseous fire-effluent components and adverse health effects following exposure to fire atmospheres.