Safety assessment of people in public building fire incidents using harmony search algorithm

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Computer Science, University of Lorestan, Khorramabad, Lorestan, Iran

2 Aerospace Research Institute, Ministry of Science and Research, Tehran, Iran

3 Enerchimi Engineering Company, Tehran, Iran


As we know, people are primarily at risk of different incidents during their life, especially when they encounter unpredictable accidents. For example, fires in public places such as governmental or trade centers during their daily activities make them obliged to evacuate the building rapidly. This research deals with the fire safety of mentioned people by means of the probabilistic method. For this purpose, fire safety is addressed by modeling the egress of the people from the fire to a safe zone. A trade center building with a common layout has been chosen for safety analysis and a limit state function has been developed according to the timeline evacuation model and fire scenario. To define the safety of building visitors, the safety index method has been selected for computing the probability of trapping in fire (fatality) and safety index (beta index). The harmony search algorithm has been used to obtain Hasfoer and Lind reliability index. A sensitivity analysis of the model’s variables has been done to find the most important and effective parameters for fire safety. Results show response time to the fire, area of buildings and length of escape route are more critical in buildings. In other words, the safety of people will improve with decreasing response time and length of evacuation route and increasing dimensions of interior space of buildings.


Main Subjects

  1. P. Harpur, K. E. Boyce, and N. C. McConnell, “An investigation into the circumstances surrounding elderly dwelling fire fatalities and the barriers to implementing fire safety strategies among this group,” in Fire Safety Science, International Association for Fire Safety Science, 2014, pp. 1144–1159. doi: 10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.11-1144.
  2. Usfa, “A Profile of Fire in the United States 2003-2007,” 2003. [Online]. Available:
  3. Almgren and P. Hansson, "Finding the Performance in Performance Based Codes-Lesson Learned from the Pre-Study for the Renewal of the Swedish Fire Safety Code due to 2010", Proc. of the 8th Performance-Based Codes and Safety Design Methods Society of Fire Protection Engineers, 2010.
  4. Tanaka, “Integration of fire risk concept into performance-based evacuation safety design of buildings,” in Fire Safety Science, Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium 2011, pp. 3–21. doi: 10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.10-3.
  5. J. Samaniego, "System signatures and their applications in engineering reliability" in International Series in Operation Research and Management Science, New York: Springer, 2007. [Online]. Available:
  6. Ronchi, “Developing and validating evacuation models for fire safety engineering”, Fire Safety Journal, vol. 120, p. 103020, 2021, doi:
  7. Kazemi, S. Sanayee Mogahdam, S. Ghasemi, H. Abotorab, “Corrosion Reliability Assessment of underground Water Transmission Pipelines by IHS Algorithm”, International Journal of Reliability, Risk and Safety: Theory and Application, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 45-51, 2018.
  8. Shabakhty, N. Kazemi, M.A. Kia, “Structural reliability assessment using improved harmony search evolutionary algorithm”, in Proc. of the 2nd Iranian Conf. on Reliability Engineering. (Reli2011), Aerospace Research Institute, Tehran, 2011, pp. 1–9.
  9. Ronchi, “Developing and validating evacuation models for fire safety engineering”, Fire Safety Journal, vol. 120, p. 103020, 2021, doi:
  10. Morgan J. Hurley, Daniel Gottuk, John R. Hall, Kazunori Harada, Erica Kuligowski. Et al, “SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering”, 6th ed, New York, NY, Springer, 2016. [Online]. doi:
  11. Fire, NFPA 92: standard for smoke control systems, 2021. Quincy, Massachusetts: National Fire Protection Association, 2021.
  12. Nordic Committee for Building Regulation: “Performance Based Fire-safety Requirements and Technical Guidelines for the Calculation Process”, Working Rep: pp. 07, 1994.
  13. Forssberg, J. Kjellström, H. Frantzich, A. Mossberg, and D. Nilsson, “The Variation of Pre-movement Time in Building Evacuation,” Fire Technol, vol. 55, no. 6, pp. 2491–2513, 2019, doi: 10.1007/s10694-019-00881-1.
  14. Y. Rubinstein and D. P. Kroese, “Simulation and the Monte Carlo method“. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. Copyright, 2017, doi:
  15. -G. Zhao and T. Ono, “A general procedure for first/second-order reliability method (FORM/SORM),” Structural Safety, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 95–112, 1999, doi:
  16. Roy and T. Dasgupta, "A discretizing approach for evaluating reliability of complex systems under stress-strength model," in IEEE Transactions on Reliability, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 145-150, June 2001, doi: 10.1109/24.963121.
  17. M. Hasofer and N. C. Lind, “Exact and Invariant Second-Moment Code Format,” Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, vol. 100, no. 1, pp. 111–121, Feb. 1974, doi:
  18. Rackwitz and B. Flessler, “Structural reliability under combined random load sequences,” Comput Struct, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 489–494, 1978, doi:
  19. S. Nowak and K. R. Collins, “Reliability of structures”. Boca Raton: Crc Press, 2019.
  20. Ashgar B, “Nonlinear constrained optimization using penalty function”, Mathematical developer Conference proceeding, 1999.
  21. Elaki, N. Shabakhty, M. A. Kia, and S. Moghaddam, “Structural Reliability: An Assessment Using a New and Efficient Two-Phase Method Based on Artificial Neural Network and a Harmony Search Algorithm,” Civil Engineering Infrastructures Journal, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 1–20, 2016, doi: 10.7508/ceij.2016.01.001.
  22. Zong Woo Geem, Joong Hoon Kim, and G. V. Loganathan, “A New Heuristic Optimization Algorithm: Harmony Search,” SIMULATION, vol. 76, no. 2, pp. 60–68, Feb. 2001, doi:
  23. Mahdavi, M. Fesanghary, and E. Damangir, “An improved harmony search algorithm for solving optimization problems,” Applied Mathematics and Computation, vol. 188, no. 2, pp. 1567–1579, May 2007, doi: