Mobile Homes, Tents, and Fire Safety in Qatar

Abstract

The paper considers the problem of fire safety for mobile homes and tents, as well as camping areas in the Qatar. Possible fire threats to these objects are identified, and measures for their diminishing or elimination are suggested, based on literature review on the research topic. Mathematical model for assessing fire safety and rational organization of campsites is developed. Moreover, recommendations concerning regulatory base on the fire safety for mobile homes and tents are given; also, conducting appropriate training based on social programs with promotional activities is offered as one of the recommendations.

Introduction

Background and Problem Statement

Fire safety should be ensured by carrying out organizational, technical, and other measures aimed at preventing fires, ensuring the safety of people. Also, observing fire safety principles is necessary for reducing possible property losses and diminishing negative environmental consequences if they occur, creating conditions for the quick calling of fire departments and successful fire fighting. The regulatory, organizational, and managerial aspects of this topic are considered by many experts and scientists, but this applies mainly to industrial buildings and structures, as well as stationary residential buildings and complexes.

At the same time, social and demographic conditions today, as well as the level of providing the population with various types of housing with appropriate qualities implies the possibility of dynamic development of mobile housing construction. The benefits of mobile homes, evident in practice, in different regions of the world, can be seen in their popularity, especially as temporary or recreational, as well as country and tourist accommodation.

As Vitner, Dougherty, and Honnold note, a specific phenomenon is observed: vehicles are adapted for the needs of residential nature. In this case, housing is arranged in buses, in truck bodies, and even in freight containers (Vitner, Dougherty and Honnold, 2019). Recently, there is observed substantial increase in the use of prefabricated mobile homes for temporary or alternative living, as well as recreation in the form of country and suburban housing (mainly, it is frame-panel and container ‘options’). Sometimes (however, less often) such homes are used for tourism business organizing has increased significantly (Vitner, Dougherty and Honnold, 2019). Given the climatic features of Qatar, mobile homes and tents camping are quite popular in the country ‑ in particular, in the sand dunes. In addition, tents are often the main residential facility in Bedouin camps.

Moreover, camping tourism traditionally involves the use of tourist tents as the main means of accommodation. In campsites, tourist tents are located in a limited space, on separate sites, or next to the parking lot of a tourist (CFPA Europe, 2019). The consumer has the requirements for a tent for comfort, convenience, low weight, compactness in assembled form and protection from the weather (primarily, it refers to its waterproofness). In camping tent standards, the main requirements are to ensure their strength (resistance to wind loads) and the features associated with the location of the clasp (Tarlow, 2014). This requirement applies to tents and awnings for caravans, as well as campers at the campsite. However, studies have shown that the most important safety element when using tents in campsites in case of fire threat is their fire safety (Almeida et al., 2016).

Meanwhile, annually in different countries of the world, in campsites, tents, and mobile homes, fires often occur, which sometimes lead to human victims. In addition, a fire can spread outside camp territory and lead to a grass or forest fire in the area of rest of tourists, which will cause severe damage to the environment. Thus, it seems relevant and necessary to create a methodology for assessing (examining) the fire hazard of mobile homes and tents and, on its basis, develop a method for substantiating and choosing design solutions for the fire protection system of these facilities, focused on obtaining rational options for their protection.

Aim of Project

The object of study is the fire protection of mobile homes and tents. The subject of the study is the methods of substantiating and choosing design solutions for the fire protection system of mobile homes and tents. The purpose of this study is to create a methodology for assessing (quantitatively evaluating) the fire hazard of mobile homes and tents in camp complexes and, on its basis, to develop an engineering method for justifying and choosing design solutions for the fire protection system of these buildings, focused on obtaining rational options for their protection using design methods.

The implementation of this research goal is associated with the following tasks:

  • Studying the laws of formation of fire hazard indicators of mobile homes and tents.
  • Establishment of the main fire hazard factors of mobile homes and tents.
  • Definition of the main causes of fires and potentially dangerous premises in mobile homes and tents.
  • Development of a fire hazard assessment methodology and the selection of rational fire protection options for these facilities.

Importance of Study

In the work, a study and generalization of a number of theoretical and practical problems, which were not previously the subject of special research, was carried out. The materials of the research, to a certain extent, fill the gap currently existing in the problem under study. The work reveals insufficiently studied regulatory and organizational problems of increasing the level of fire protection of mobile homes and tents. Techniques for project examination, justification, and selection of rational options for fire protection systems for these objects have been created.

Methodology

As a methodological basis of the study, the following were used: a systematic approach to the study of the object and subject of research, general scientific methods of cognition. Also, methods of system analysis of the results of fire safety of mobile homes and tents, presented in the research results of various authors, were used, as well as the data of project materials, and an expert survey method using structured interview. When applying a structured interview, communication between the interviewer and the respondent is strictly regulated by the questionnaire. This type of interview is designed to obtain similar type of information and is used in cases where the answers of experts should be comparable and classifiable. Questions for the interview were presented in the form of the following list:

  1. How would you describe the state of fire safety in mobile homes and tourist tents in Qatar?
  2. How would you describe the state of fire safety in Bedouin camps?
  3. What are, in your opinion, the main fire safety risks in mobile homes, campers, and Bedouin camps?
  4. How do you assess the quality of the developed project documentation for the fire safety of mobile homes and tents?
  5. What recommendations could you offer to improve the quality of relevant project documentation?
  6. What social and regulatory measures could you suggest to increase the fire safety of mobile homes and tents, including in Bedouin camps?
  7. How do you assess the possible obstacles to the implementation of measures to improve the fire safety of mobile homes and tents?

The sample size was ten people from among the employees of fire safety services. Processing of the results of the interview was carried out using elements of the grounded theory of Corbin and Strauss, in order to obtain categories that describe the fire safety state of the studied objects in Qatar. It allowed revealing in detail the essence of the phenomenon being studied, since when applying the grounded theory, data collection, analysis, and theory are interconnected to each other.

The main limitation of the applied qualitative research method is the small sample size and the potential subjectivity of expert opinions. However, given the supportive nature of empirical research in our case, these limitations are not significant. The main data were obtained from the results of the secondary study, and the opinions of experts are auxiliary in nature, reinforcing the theoretical provisions, statistical and qualitative data obtained during the secondary study.

Speaking about the ethical considerations of conducting interviews, the need to observe research ethics should be noted. The interviewer should not state his opinion about what he has heard from the respondent ‑ he should only accumulate information for subsequent analysis and use. Also, the opinions of other respondents should not be discussed with the interviewee. The interviewer should be “able to listen” and demonstrate correctness in the conversation. When a respondent speaks on issues that go beyond the scope of the discussion, he should be given the opportunity to express his opinion, as this would provide a possibility to obtain additional information. At the end of the interview, the respondent should be given the opportunity to make additional comments that he considers important.

Literature Review

Based on practice cases described in literature, for a preliminary assessment of the fire risk level for campsites, the method of risk assessment using the matrix of consequences and probabilities can be taken as the basis (Wong and Xie, 2014). Having such advantages as relative ease of use and ensuring quick risk ranking by significance levels, this method also has drawbacks. They include the need to create a matrix taking into account the specific circumstances of its use, the difficulty of setting probability scales and consequences, the subjectivity of the estimates made, and also the dependence level of detailed analysis of fire safety.

The initial data for conducting an expert assessment of the fire risk level can be information about the campsite under study, normative and legislative acts from the federal to local levels, data on the proposed site, information about the camping environment, statistics on fires and emergencies in this region, etc. (Moshashaei and Alizadeh, 2013). When analysing the camping project, the design documentation for the camping is also used ‑ documents on its infrastructure and technical means of fire protection, etc. The main documents on camping fire safety include the following: instructions on fire safety measures at the campsite, evacuation plan, instructions on the operation of administrative and technical personnel in case of fire, act of verification of primary fire extinguishing means, and other.

In the scientific literature, it is noted that to determine the level of fire risk, depending on the purpose of the examination and the stage of its implementation, specialists in infrastructure, fire safety, expert organizations, fire services, etc. can be involved; security requires the participation of three or more experts (Diamantes, 2014). Thus, the expert, based on information about the location of the campsite, the season of its operation, purpose, organization, infrastructure, and other signs, identifies likely potential threats.

In the absence of conditions or means (natural, material, organizational, personnel, etc.) for the realization of the threat (i.e., in the absence thereof), it is subsequently excluded from consideration. For example, a forest fire will be excluded from consideration when camping is located in the steppe, a peat fire in a region with sandy soil, sea tides in the mountains, etc. (Della-Guistina, 2014).

When identifying people and property exposed to threats, one should establish their location and category, as well as camping infrastructure, data on the environment, etc. Based on this information, the types and conditions of the onset of threats to visitors and property are determined (Sharman, 2013). For example, tourists living in a campground may be at risk of fire from a campfire, and their private cars may be at risk in a parking lot from fuel spills, etc.

The probability of a threat can be estimated using statistics on its origin in a given area for a given period of camping operation, information taken from the region’s general statistical database, and also according to local government data. To determine the probability of a threat, special methods for assessing it can also be applied (Della-Guistina, 2014). To carry out an assessment of the probability of a threat, a diagnostic sheet can be used indicating the diagnostic characteristics for each threat from the statistics for this type of threat and the presence of conditions for its occurrence.

For example, a forest fire is likely in the presence of a forest, with its appropriate condition and weather conditions, in the presence of sources of ignition, means of prevention, etc.) (Bennett, 2017). Thus, the probability of a fire due to faulty electrical equipment will be the higher, the more open uninsulated contacts there are, the higher the voltage, overload of the mains, etc. An open fire in a campsite can cause a fire if safety rules are violated.

In turn, the basic information for making a decision is actual or hypothetical (predicted) data that confirms the probability of each threat or its prevention. Among this information, violation or non-observance of the Fire Prevention Rules, as well as causal relationships between the threat of fire and the likelihood of its development on the campsite (event tree and assessment of the status of each fire prevention tool) are of great importance (Wong and Xie, 2014).

To determine the category and consequences of a particular threat, it is necessary to identify people and property who may be in the campsite during the corresponding seasonal periods, as well as information on the presence or absence of means to prevent the negative scenario of a fire in the campsite. The scenario is characterized not only by the area of ignition, objects located on it, but also by the speed and direction of fire propagation, the presence and concentration of smoke and carbon monoxide, the presence of a threat to life and property, etc. To obtain the necessary information to determine the category and consequences of the manifestation of each (the i-th threat), the expert can use simulation models of the development of fire in the campsite according to various scenarios (Bennett, 2017).

These scenarios may include the occurrence of a fire in the premises of campsites (office building, mobile home, motorhome, tent, etc.); in the parking lot, in tent sites; on the external territory, as well as its consequences for the camping site, etc.) or existing knowledge and information.

To ensure the safety of the campsite, it is necessary either to comply with all safety requirements for all types of threats, or to provide protective measures or adopt crisis management plans. To control the actions to eliminate the danger, it is possible to prepare recommendations, which note not only the given assessment of fire risk, but also the proposed measures and recommendations for its reduction. The general condition for ensuring the fire safety of the campsite is as follows: the fire safety of the campsite will be ensured if the maximum level of fire risk does not exceed the permissible level. Accordingly, the owner of the campsite, using the results of an expert assessment of the level of fire risk, ensures compliance with and implementation of measures to ensure safety at the stages of the search, design, and preparatory work for its creation.

Given the Bedouin’s habit of making fire in the tent, the fire safety level in the Bedouin camps should be assessed as extremely low. Accordingly, for tourists camped in such camps, the level of risk also increases. When using the campsite or when placing it in a Bedouin camp, new fire safety threats additionally appear on its site: open fire; cooking with burners in narrow spaces; execution of tents, houses, cars, and campers from combustible materials; close tents, cars, and houses close to each other, which can increase the risk of a rapid flame spread. It is noted in the literature that in order to determine rational ways to ensure the fire safety of tourist tents at a campsite, it is advisable to conduct a study of their structural elements and methods of protecting tents and tourists who are in them during a fire (Almeida et al., 2014).

Existing varieties of tourist tents have common design features ‑ prefabricated construction; the presence of material covering the space; arches forming the volume of the tent; stretch marks to impart stability to the structure and surface tension of the web (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015). Fire safety of a tent is determined mainly by its materials and structural solutions. For the manufacture of tourist tents, the following materials are used (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015):

  • For covering the outer surface and the cover ‑ water-repellent fabrics, cotton, synthetic (polyamide or polyester) or mixed;
  • For an internal covering of a sleeping room ‑ breathable fabrics; for the floor ‑ cotton, synthetic or mixed fabrics with a water-repellent finish and with a film coating;
  • For ventilation openings, windows and entrance panels ‑ mesh synthetic fabrics or transparent films;
  • For stretch marks ‑ cotton and synthetic cords and tows;
  • For the frame, racks, pegs, tensioning devices, etc. ‑ light metal or plastic materials.

Various experimental studies were carried out using standard test methods, while processing of test results was carried out using methods of mathematical statistics and mathematical planning of the experiment. In particular, in one of the studies, testing fabric samples was carried out in two modes ‑ smouldering and burning using a gas burner. The power supply of the installation was maintained in a mode in which the density of the heat flux incident on the sample was 35 kW/m2. Using a Gordon type heat receiver, the density of the incident heat flux was controlled with an error of no more than 8%.

The initial value of the light transmittance, taken as 100%, was set corresponding to the upper measurement limit of the recording device. A fabric sample for testing was placed in the installation boat, which was then installed in the combustion chamber. When the minimum transmittance was reached, the tests were stopped. When tested in smouldering mode, self-ignition of fabric samples was not allowed (Tarlow, 2014). For testing fabrics for flammability, smoke generating ability and toxicity, two types of fabrics were taken (Tarlow, 2014):

  1. Water-repellent awning, tent, handbag Oxford 600D PU2000 fabric: composition on the front side ‑ 100% polyester, woven textured fabric; on the back side ‑ polyurethane with a water resistance of 2000. Surface density 220-240 g/m2; web width (150 + 2) cm;
  2. Tent canvas: composition ‑ 100% cotton (cotton fabric), surface density 250 g/m2; web width 160 cm.

For testing, both fabric options were taken in two versions ‑ standard and flame retardant. Classification tests were performed on five samples in the direction of the warp (in length) and in five samples in the direction of the weft (in width) under the same conditions as in the flammability tests. The experimental results also showed a more rapid (by 2 s) ignition of polyester fabric with a surface density of 230 g/m2 in comparison with cotton fabric with a surface density of 250 g/m2.

The self-burning time for cotton fabric was also higher than for polyester, more than twice. The use of impregnation on tent cotton fabrics gave positive results: ignition of the material was not observed, but only its edges were charred. For polyester fabric, the use of flame retardant impregnation led to an increase in ignition time by more than two times ‑ from 25 to 50 s (Tarlow, 2014). Thus, this valuable experimental study showed the high efficiency of treating tent fabric with fire-retardant treatment. It can be assumed that this technique is also suitable for flammable elements of mobile homes.

The results presented in other experimental studies of tent materials and tourist tent extensions show a significant effect on their fire safety made by treatment with fire-resistant impregnations and coatings with luminous and reflective paints (Tarlow, 2014). Processing the outer surface of the tent fabric with luminous paint along the contour and reflective paint of its lower and upper parts can not only increase fire safety, but also prevent overheating of the tent when direct sunlight or infrared radiation from the fire entering its internal volume, which creates comfortable conditions for its inhabitants.

It is also indicated that the reduction of evacuation time in the dark is facilitated by the application of luminous paint on the slider of the zipper. This allows the tourist to quickly get out of the tent at night (Tarlow, 2014). The fire distance of 1.5 m between the tents at the campsite adopted in the standards can guarantee their fire safety. When using luminous paints, the fire distance between the fasteners of the tents can be set to 1.2 m, as recommended for caravan parks, for example, in Australia (Diamantes, 2014).

In 2015, Qatar’s state Cabinet adopted new measures aimed at enhancing the nation’s regulations regarding fire safety. In particular, it includes establishing a body responsible for declaring national emergencies in the event of a disaster, etc. While some similar improvements on national level, practically no attention is paid to fire safety regulations for mobile homes, tents, and Bedouin camps. In particular, the fire safety of mobile homes is not considered separately, but as for mobile buildings.

The lack of necessary regulation places the responsibility for fire safety on users of mobile homes and tents, as well as owners of campsites and residents of Bedouin camps and local administrations of territories. This determines the need to develop measures for assessing (examining) the fire hazard of the objects under investigation and to develop proposals for improving fire standards and rules, designing of technical regulations. An urgent task is to develop a fire hazard assessment methodology for mobile homes and tents, on the basis of which rational options for fire protection systems can be selected.

Findings and Discussion

A study of the literature shows that in order to rationally localize the campsite, it is necessary to take into account the minimal environmental impact, the state and load of the regional road network, the time spent on driving a tourist’s vehicle, the time of arrival of a fire truck in the event of a fire at the campsite, as well as the main psychological motivation of a motorist. Rational localization of the site for the construction of the camping is established through the selection of a rational space ???? solutions according to the following condition (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015):

where D – rational E-number of camping localization options taking into account comfort and fire safety, l = 1,…, E, tl coordinates of the l-th rational point (coordinates) of camping in the selected space of the region, Al ‑ attractions for the l-th rational coordinates camping accommodation, Bl ‑ fire safety assessment for the l-th camping site, Kl ‑ assessment of the comfortable location and functioning for the l-th rational camping coordinates.

Safety Bk of the location of the site under the campsite is assessed by the presence or absence of risk Q from the implementation of the probable j-th threats of the d-th type to ensure safety at the k-th campsite. Despite the importance of the attractiveness of the k-th site for camping, it must first of all comply with the fire safety conditions, taking into account the fulfilment of the fire risk condition:

where

  • Qj – estimated value of fire risk from the j-th threat;
  • – standard value of fire risk (for individual fire risk
  • =10–6 year-1).

To determine the estimated value of the fire risk Qj from the j-th threat, it is necessary to establish the probabilityof the existence of this threat, and the probability of its effective prevention , fire protection from it and evacuation from the campsite. Determining the parameters of threats (their probability) of fire safety at the campsite is carried out using a diagnostic sheet. The probability of the existence of each j-th threat can be established using expert judgment or fire development models. The probability factors are influenced by the following factors: the reality of its existence, the degree of its danger g (it is possible to determine it through modelling the process of ignition and spread); remoteness of the site S 

from j-th threats of the d-th type and radius of the danger zone  and other parameters. In the absence of threat  , and in presence ‑. The probabilities of effective prevention of a threat  , fire protection from it, and evacuation from the k-th camp site are determined by taking into account the completion of diagnostic sheet according to an expert assessment of each j-th fire safety threat U, taking into account the following factors (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015): the distance of the camp from the fire station, water intake and from locations of Ministry of Interior and Civil Defence; average time of arrival of Ministry of Interior and Civil Defence in the campsite from their places of deployment; the possibility of placement and availability of active fire protection; the possibility and availability of passive fire protection and the possibility of their use; communication with the media and the Ministry of Emergencies; remoteness of fire sources from flammable objects, etc.

To assess the likelihood of evacuation from the campsite, it is necessary to take into account the total camping area in relation to the estimated number of parking places, the availability of escape routes, as well as the availability of this site for rescue vehicles (for example, when a neighbourhood is flooded, or a forest fire) and fire escape routes. The minimization of the threat is achieved through the application of the proposed measures, rules, and means of fire safety, as well as fire measures in order to reduce the likelihood of a fire Pk,j from each j-th threat.

It is suggested that when using an expert assessment of the fire risk level at a selected camping site, i-experts evaluate on a 5-point scale for each j-th threat the probability parameters kj,i of the occurrence and the category of consequences of its manifestation vj,i (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015). The measure of consistency of expert assessments of each threat is determined by mathematical and statistical processing of the examination results using the concordance coefficient Wj≥0.5 and the value of the Pearson criterion. Based on the Risk Identification Matrix for each j-th threat, the fire risk level Fj is determined using the following expression (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015):

where Hj is the probability of a threat established by an expert survey, Dj ‑ category of consequences of the manifestation of the j-th threat established by an expert survey.

According to the highest threat level Fmax = max (Fj) and depending on their values, appropriate measures to prevent and ensure fire safety are determined. To study the development of fire in the campsite and in its functional areas (parking, office, camp, etc.) can be performed using their percolation models. The process of developing a fire in a campsite will occur if there is a possibility of a fire moving from one model unit (structure, tent, car, motorhome, etc.) to another.

The presence of a fire fence between objects can be a barrier to the spread of fire. When considering the model, the camping operating season, the combustible properties of materials and the burning potential of both objects and the space between them, the direction of the wind and its speed, the remoteness of the objects from each other, the state of the atmosphere, fire extinguishing systems, etc. are taken into account (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015). As a result of the simulation, we get a rational layout of the campsite (fire hazard zoning), the location of transport and evacuation routes.

A general assessment of the fire safety of the Bk site for camping, taking into account all the risks, is carried out by the calculation according to the expression (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015):

where Fmax is maximum fire risk established by an expert during a preliminary expert assessment of a camping site.

The content of the initial information on the potential of the region T* is determined based on the analysis of information about its attractions Ak, natural and climatic conditions of the territory, geographical coordinates  of the site and information about the transport network and communication that form the set of N points of the regional network with rational localization of the sites (Hurley and Rosenbaum, 2015). Information about the infrastructure of campsites (mobile structures, facilities, houses, etc.), the layout of their functional areas, the combustible properties of materials and the burning potential of camping infrastructure facilities, etc. are formed to assess their fire safety and rational zoning of camping sites.

The implementation of the method of rational comfortable and fireproof localization of the campsite construction site can be performed using the MATLAB software environment and justification of the parameters of fire conditions and fire safety conditions. The program should contain several blocks for the implementation of the stages: processing, expert assessment of the comfort and fire safety of the site using diagnostics, modelling and forecasting the development of fire, etc.

It should be noted that such a technique seems appropriate for use also in Bedouin camps. Moreover, one can propose to extend the well-known concept of “design basis accidents” with fires to mobile homes and tents. An expanded interpretation of the term “design basis accident with fires” allows one to strictly and unambiguously interpret the results of the calculation justification of the rational version of the fire safety system of an object. Subject to the occurrence of a design basis accident and, consequently, ‘a design fire,’ the relevant requirements for the fire safety system may be presented or the effectiveness of the selected system may be checked.

During an empirical study ‑ an expert interview ‑ all respondents noted that there are serious problems in the field of fire safety in mobile homes and tourist tents in Qatar, and the state of this indicator in Bedouin camps is unsatisfactory. At the same time, irresponsible user behaviour and the lack of the proper level of social responsibility among manufacturers of mobile homes and tents related to the economy segment of the market for such facilities were named among the main risks. The main categories identified during the processing of interview results can be summarized as follows: fire hazard, risk, combustible materials, fire, electrical appliances, malfunction, toxicity, evacuation, responsibility, regulation, consultations.

Ensuring fire safety is one of the most important functions of the state. However, any process needs to be managed and organized by a system of actions. The role of legal regulation in the field of fire safety is to ensure that the state and law act as a guarantor of the degree of protection against fires established by society that is acceptable for itself, taking into account the totality of political, economic, and social conditions. This should be taken into account at first when speaking about fire safety in the country.

An analysis of international experience in technical regulation in the field of fire safety showed that in all economically developed countries various norms and standards (both national standards and the standards of various societies and associations) are used as documents establishing fire safety requirements, which before adoption their status of binding documents were voluntary and recommended for use (Sharman, 2013). At the same time, technical regulation should be carried out by technical norms and standards. Moreover, all mandatory requirements should be established by technical regulations, and standards should contain only recommendations.

However, it is impossible to establish exhaustive fire safety requirements in the draft technical regulation due to the multivariance of fire safety issues. The experts who were interviewed during our empirical research, suggested using the recommended provisions of normative documents on fire safety as an evidence base for fulfilling the fire safety requirements of the general technical regulation. Thus, the international experience of technical regulation was taken into account.

At the same time, each object of protection must have a fire safety system. The goal of creating a fire safety system for objects of protection is to ensure the safety of people in case of fire and protect property from the effects of dangerous fire factors. The fire safety system of the objects to be protected must include a fire prevention system, a fire protection system, a system of organizational and technical measures, or a combination thereof.

The fire safety system of the objects to be protected must necessarily contain a set of measures aimed at ensuring a standard level of human safety and preventing the danger of harm to third parties as a result of a fire. A set of measures to protect property in case of fire, in accordance with the right of the owner to risk his property, is carried out by him on a voluntary basis. The technical regulation establishes that the fire safety of the protected object is considered ensured if one of the following conditions is met (Diamantes, 2014):

  • The fire safety requirements established by the technical regulations are fully met and the provisions of the recommended regulatory documents on fire safety are used;
  • Fire risk does not exceed the permissible values established by this or special technical regulations.

Thus, technical regulation in the field of fire safety should consist of the requirements of the general technical regulation, the requirements of special technical regulations and the provisions of normative documents on fire safety that are voluntary for application, the implementation of which allows assuming that the fire safety requirements are being met. In this regard, regulatory documents on fire safety are acquiring great importance. Since the recommendations for ensuring fire safety set out in these documents allow the owner, firstly, to save time and money on developing measures to ensure the required level of fire safety.

Secondly, these recommendations can be changed dynamically in the case of more effective means of provision fire safety or as a result of a generalization of the experience of using traditional means. Such recommendations may take into account the use of new materials or design solutions. Most importantly, these recommendations are developed by specialists in matters of ensuring fire safety (Backhouse and Ferrett, 2016). In order to protect citizens’ health and life, the technical regulation should be adopted. This also has the aim to protect property of legal entities or individuals, as well as municipal or state property from damages caused by fires. It suggests the technical regulation core provisions concerning fire safety and offers general requirements for ensuring the safety of people and animals, as well as fire safety systems security for the objects of protection, whatever their legal form or purpose.

It should be also noted that normative regulations and requirements contain technical regulations drawing up mandatory requirements on fire safety. The normative documents on fire safety include standards, norms, rules, instructions, and technical conditions that contain provisions that ensure the achievement of goals and the implementation of the principles of fire protection formulated in technical regulations. Regulatory documents on fire safety establish, before the adoption of the relevant technical regulations, the fire safety requirements that are binding on them, and after their adoption ‑ the recommended provisions for ensuring fire safety.

The fire safety system of the objects to be protected must include a fire prevention system, a fire protection system, a system of organizational and technical measures, or a combination thereof. The composition of fire prevention systems, fire protection and organizational and technical measures is determined by the functional purpose of the object of protection and is established by these technical regulations, special technical regulations and (or) normative documents on fire safety (Almeida et al., 2014).

Also, it should be noted that the last phrase allows preserving the mandatory fulfilment of the requirements of regulatory documents on fire safety until the enacting of the appropriate technical regulations. Accordingly, following the enacting of technical regulations, it allows applying these documents as evidence of compliance with the technical regulations requirements.

The quality of the developed design documentation for the fire safety of mobile homes and tents was assessed by experts as low. Most respondents consider it necessary to conduct public consultations with the participation of all interested parties on the development of relevant detailed regulatory documentation with a clear distribution of areas of responsibility. Each respondent noted the need to use best practices developed in other countries and international best practices in the field of ensuring and regulating the fire safety of mobile tourist and residential facilities. At the same time, possible obstacles to the implementation of the measures under development were noted ‑ in the form of a lack of social responsibility of tourists and youth as the main users of mobile homes and tents, as well as the specific Bedouin culture.

In order to overcome this obstacle, some experts suggest the use of appropriate social advertising, as well as the conduct of free training events with promotional events. It is also proposed to tighten legislative requirements for the technical characteristics of mobile homes and tents ‑ not only entering the Qatar market, but also operated by end users. A draft national standard is required, which provides for fire safety requirements for the materials and design features of tents and mobile homes. A seller or manufacturer of mobile homes or tent should bear responsibility, which can be achieved, for example, by submitting the Declaration of Compliance with the following procedure:

Declarations of conformity of the material and technical base of a business entity with the requirements of legislation on fire safety are introduced:

  1. The declaration is submitted to the Single Window or to the licensing authority of the state Ministry of Interior and Civil Defence.
  2. Within ten working days, the Declaration is considered by the state Ministry of Interior and Civil Defence and returned to the business entity with a mark ‘registered’ or ‘not registered.’
  3. The procedure for submitting a declaration is free.
  4. Fire safety inspector is obliged to check the enterprises, regardless of ownership, periodically, based on the category of enterprise security, once a year, once every three years and once every five years. Verification is conducted on the conformity of the submitted Declaration with what is actually.
  5. According to the results of the inspection of the enterprise, the fire inspector makes a conclusion ‑ whether the Declaration is consistent with what is actually or does not correspond and to what extent does not correspond.
  6. In case of non-compliance with the Declaration, the fire inspector draws up a protocol on an administrative offense for the head of the enterprise.
  7. If, in the opinion of the fire inspector, the condition of the enterprise is a potential or man-made threat, then he can close the enterprise in whole or in part through the Administrative Court.

Determination of fire risk should be carried out without fail to assess the effectiveness of the fire safety system of the objects of protection for which there are no design standards, as well as when substantiating deviations from the fire safety requirements of technical regulations and (or) normative documents on fire safety. Fire risk assessment calculations should be part of a fire safety declaration or industrial safety declaration. Ultroneous compliance confirmation is implemented as voluntary certification; at the same time, mandatory conformity confirmation is made in such forms as declaration of conformity or mandatory certification (Diamantes, 2014).

Cases of mandatory fire safety requirements violations should be treated in the order and terms specified by the state fire supervision bodies, and may be the basis for the implementation of administrative sanctions to legal or natural person who admitted the violation. However, this responsibility should be integrally connected to social responsibility, as only such combination is able to ensure long-term sustainable compliance with fire safety requirements. Moreover, it should be noted that the very legal responsibility represents a kind of social responsibility.

When choosing a site for camping, fire safety requirements may conflict with the main consumer requirement ‑ ensuring that there is a main attraction next to the campsite that motivates the tourist to travel. In addition, it is important for the tourist to ensure a comfortable location of the site relative to the main attractions. The solution of these contradictions in the well-developed site selection methodology is provided by minimizing fire risk and achieving the required level of fire safety of the site. A competent method for localizing a camping site for campers helps increase fire safety and the cost-effectiveness of camping solutions, which will reduce the cost of eliminating fire threats at campsites and increase their attractiveness for both domestic and foreign campers.

In our opinion, in the absence of fire safety requirements for a certain part of the building, a list of measures is drawn up for it. Also, the assessment of fire safety should include criteria that have both a quantitative expression and a meaningful one, for example (for a mobile home), a quantitative criterion for the non-destruction of load-bearing coating structures. In this case, the critical temperature of the bearing metal structures should be taken into account, taking into account the safety factor for metal structures and the actual temperature of metal structures in case of a design fire.

In the next block, the so-called “substantial” criteria can be presented ‑ for example, during a fire in one part of the campsite, combustion should not go beyond this part, etc. The next block of assessments and requirements may contain a list of the main considered elements of a rational version of the fire protection system of the facility, as well as the values of fire hazard indicators and criteria for the selected parts of the building. In fact, indicators and criteria are a passport of an object, characterizing integrally the effectiveness of decisions made on the fire protection system of an object.

Taking into account the techniques described in the literature review section, it is possible to supplement the methodology for analysing the fire safety system using the notation already noted above. Given that for each i-th threat, the probability parameters ki,j of the occurrence and the category of consequences of its manifestation vi,j may be influenced by the subjective perception of the expert, it is advisable to check the reliability and consistency of the fire risk assessment by several experts (commission type of examination). All data given by experts (with their number, for example, n = 4), threat assessments (in the presence of at least one of them) are summarized in a common summary table. The calculation of the resulting probability values ki,j of the onset and the category of consequences of its manifestation vi,j are established from the expressions:

The measure of consistency of expert assessments is determined by mathematical and statistical processing of the examination results presented in the special table and is established using the concordance coefficient (consent) W and Pearson criterion X2. The concordance (consent) coefficient W for estimating the probability Hi (where Hi is the probability of the i-th threat occurring, established by an expert survey) of the occurrence of the s-th number of i-th threats is determined by the following formula:

where s is a number of threats with probability P>0.

ki,j is the estimate of probability of occurrence of the i-th threat, set by the j-th expert.

– average sum of ranks

m is maximum assessment of the probability category or consequences of each threat.

When calculating the concordance coefficient W for assessing the category Di of the consequences of manifestation (where Di is the level of consequences of the manifestation of the i-th threat established by an expert survey) in equation (6), instead of ki,j, we take into account categories vi,j of the consequences of its manifestation. For each case of calculating the concordance coefficient W, we determine the calculated value of the Pearson criterion X2 by the formula:

X2 = WK(m-1) (7)

Expert opinions can be considered agreed upon in terms of probability or category of consequences of manifestations of fire safety threats with a concordance coefficient W> 0.5 and with a calculated value of Pearson’s criterion X2 greater than its tabular value.

The opinion of experts may be inconsistent if they are not sufficiently informed about the diagnosed parameters, or in case of their incompetence or bias. In this case, a repeated examination should be carried out with the elimination of the deficiencies that have appeared. Thus, for each i-th threat, the probability values of the occurrence Hi and the category of the expected consequences of its manifestation Di are determined.

When analysing the results of a survey of experts, it is first necessary to establish the threats that have the highest rating, and take appropriate measures depending on this. Moderate to high risks are considered. According to the results of the survey, the greatest threat Rmax is established, and then the threats are considered as they decrease, trying to bring all risks to zero:

To ensure the safety of the campsite, it is necessary either to comply with all safety requirements for all types of threats, or to provide protective measures or adopt crisis management plans. To control the actions to eliminate the danger, it is possible to prepare recommendations, which note not only the given assessment of fire risk, but also the proposed measures and recommendations for its reduction. After implementing the measures proposed by experts, the process of assessing the level of fire risk in a campsite should be repeated. To implement this method, one can create a program for calculating fire risk assessments in the MATLAB environment with recording the results in Microsoft Office Excel, which sets the estimates for each type of probable threat and determines the largest of them.

It seems advisable to selectively check the design quality of the developed design documentation for mobile homes, in terms of its compliance with fire safety requirements in design organizations, in order to avoid cases when design organizations often proceed from their customers ’wishes and deliberately commit violations of regulatory requirements.

It is necessary to develop legislative requirements for ensuring fire safety on the part of the users of mobile homes and tents themselves. In particular, as it was already noted above, attention should be paid to international experience and best practices in this area. So, for example, the European requirements for the fire safety of campsites establish the following requirements: “Caravans and campers which are used for staying overnight should be equipped with a smoke alarm and an extinguisher containing at least 2 kg of dry powder. The vehicles heating and cooking appliances should be regularly inspected by a qualified person.” (CFPA Europe, 2019, p. 6).

Such an approach with detailed safety requirements seems to be very reasonable. At the same time, special regulatory documentation should be developed for the Bedouin camps, with the phased implementation of its requirements, in view of the specifics of the Bedouin culture. It is necessary, increasing the level of fire safety in the Bedouin camps, to minimize the likelihood of possible resistance to changes by the Bedouin population. Also, the widespread introduction of free fire safety education programs seems a reasonable measure that can increase the awareness of users of mobile homes and tents regarding fire safety. The attractiveness of such training programs can be increased by offering students participation in contests with prizes in the form of elements of tourist equipment.

Conclusion and Recommendations

To improve the matrix of consequences and probabilities and to provide an objective assessment of the fire risk level for mobile homes and tents, it is proposed to calculate the corresponding indicators for both a camping complex:

  1. Apply an expert survey involving three or more experts in it and checking the objectivity of their estimates of the likelihood and consequences of a fire at a campsite using the concordance coefficient W and the Pearson criterion.
  2. Use the necessary level of detail of the technique according to the algorithm of its implementation.
  3. Provide information on factors characterizing the levels of probability and consequences of manifestations of fire threats, based on the use of diagnostic sheets that can be preliminarily constructed using modelling of a possible fire development with the event tree method or cause-effect relationships.
  4. Use in the assessment the statistical information of the Ministry of Emergencies about the likelihood of manifestation of certain threats to the territory of the proposed camping site.
  5. Apply scales of probabilities and consequences according to the results of a detailed analysis of the probabilities and consequences of fire threats for the conditions under consideration for the localization of the campsite, the composition of the infrastructure, and its seasonal occupancy by car tourists.
  6. To involve competent campers’ fire safety specialists, arranging campsites on the proposed territory, environmental safety, etc., into risk assessment.

The general condition for ensuring the fire safety of the campsite is as follows: the fire safety of the campsite will be ensured if the maximum level of fire risk does not exceed the permissible level. The owner of the campsite, using the results of an expert assessment of the level of fire risk, must ensure compliance with and implementation of measures to ensure safety at the stages of search, design, and preparatory work for its creation.

The main objective of the search for rational camping is to achieve its maximum comfort and fire safety. The use of a detailed technique allows ‘automating’ this search, and the accepted signs of threats and risks at the campsite allows compiling its information support. An important part of the information support should also be carefully developed regulatory documentation, the development of which should be guided by the best world practices in the field of fire safety of mobile homes and tents, and also take into account the national characteristics of the Bedouin population of Qatar.

At the same time, it should be possible to carry out inspections of organizations designing mobile homes for compliance of their products with fire safety requirements. In addition, it is proposed to introduce social training programs for users of mobile homes and tents with incentive mechanisms to popularize such programs. Thus, it can be expected that proposed complex of fire safety assessment principles and appropriate measures can become a catalyser for improvement in the field.

Reference List

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Almeida, M. et al. (2016) Analysis of fire hazard in campsite areas. Springer Science. Web.

Backhouse, J. and Ferrett, E. (2016) Fire safety and risk management revision guide. Abingdon: Routledge.

Bennett, L. T. (2017) Fire service law. Long Grove: Waveland Press.

CFPA Europe (2019) Fire safety in camping sites. Cotebrook Drive: CFPA Europe.

Della-Guistina, D. E. (2014) Fire safety management handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Diamantes, D. (2014) Principles of fire prevention. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Fire Protection Association (2014) Fire safety and risk management. Abingdon Routledge.

Hurley, M. J. and Rosenbaum, E. R. (2015). Performance-based fire safety design. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Moshashaei, P. and Alizadeh, S. (2013) ‘Fire risk assessment: a systematic review of the methodology and functional areas,’ Iranian Journal of Health, Safety & Environment, 4(1), pp. 654-669.

Sharman, K. (2013) Fire safety and due diligence operational manual. Amazon Digital Services. Web.

Tarlow, P. (2014) Tourism security: strategies for effectively managing travel risk and safety. Waltham: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Vitner, M., Dougherty, C. and Honnold, M. (2019) Manufactured housing outlook: 2019. Economics Group. Web.

Wong, K. and Xie, D. (2014) ‘Fire safety management strategy of complex developments,’ Procedia Engineering, 71, pp. 410-420.