Performance-Based Design for Arson Threats: Policy Analysis of the Physical Security for Federal Facilities Standard [open pdf - 3MB]
From the thesis abstract: "Although perhaps not so dramatic or newsworthy as chemical, biologic, radiologic, nuclear, or explosive attacks, intentionally set fires are identified security threats to federal buildings accessible to the public. The Department of Homeland Security Interagency Security Committee in 2010 adopted building construction standards that purport to give facility safety committees and building designers guidance on developing permanent countermeasures to 31 diverse threat scenarios described in the 'Design-Basis Threat'. To assess the effectiveness of the permanent countermeasures options provided in the 'Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities', a performance-based approach to evaluating the design and construction features is recommended. Clearly articulated performance objectives and quantifiable characterization of the hazardous elements comprising the threat scenarios are essential to evaluating outcomes using a performance-based design approach. A mixed methods research approach is used to analyze the 'Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities' standard to make policy recommendations that may enhance occupant safety and federal property protection from arson attacks. Computerized fire effects modeling is used to compare outcomes in non-military and non-postal federal facilities from a variety of simulated arson scenarios using commonly available accelerants."
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