How to Calculate Fire Load

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

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.

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

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

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


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

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I hold a bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida where I majored in interdisciplinary studies and minored in digital media. My areas of study were computer science and business administration. I run a freelance computer repair business where I perform repairs either in-house or at customer's homes. I also have been writing professionally as a freelancer for three years -- specializing in technical writing.