How to Calculate Fire Load

Written by ricky gee
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How to Calculate Fire Load
Calculating fire load is an important safety measure. (fire image by Kubichek Vladimir from

According to United States law, the fire load of a building is a number measured in kilograms-per-square meter. The fire load of a compartment, which can be a building or container, represents the maximum amount of combustible material that is safely stored in that compartment. With a few pieces of information and a relatively simple math equation, you are able to correctly determine the fire load of a compartment.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine the weight of combustible materials in the compartment for which you wish to calculate fire load. This value is represented by "W" and is measured in kilograms.

  2. 2

    Determine the value of these materials in calories. This value is represented by "C" and is measured in kilojoules/kilogram.

  3. 3

    Determine the area of the compartment. This value is represented by "A" and is measured in square meters.

  4. 4

    Multiply M by C and divide the total by A to determine the fire load. The equation looks like this:

    fire load = (M x C) / A

Tips and warnings

  • It is important to correctly determine fire load because disobeying fire-load laws is against the law and dangerous.

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