Development of a machine-learning approach for identifying the stages of fire development in residential room fires

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

16 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Article number103469
Journal / PublicationFire Safety Journal
Online published7 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


Recognizing the stages of fire development is essential for fire emergency operations. It allows firefighters to predict what will happen next, potential fire spreads, and the likely effect of tactical actions. Currently, firefighters recognize fire stages mainly by observing and judging the signs and symptoms of fire development changing on-site. However, this kind of approach highly relies on firefighters’ knowledge and experience, making it difficult to operate. Therefore, a machine learning (ML)-based approach automatically identifying the stages of fire development in residential room fires is proposed in this paper. Modeled by Gaussian Mixture Models and Hidden Markov Models (GMM-HMM), the approach enables identifying the stages of fire development from short-term field temperature collections. To provide adequate data for model training, the two-zone fire model— CFAST and a non-parametric fire design method are applied to generate the temperature observations in various random fire scenarios. Taking the fire in a typical single-story residential construction as a case study, we establish a GMM-HMM-based recognition model with the simulated temperature data. It presents an average of 85% accuracy in identifying the fire stages within the 2 min error range. Moreover, tested with the experimental fire data, the established model also achieves successful recognitions.

Research Area(s)

  • Compartment fires, Fire scenarios, GMM-HMM, Machine learning, Stages of fire development