Abstract This study presents a framework of decision analysis on fire safety design alternatives based on evaluating building fire risk to life. A probabilistic risk assessment method for occupant life is presented with consideration of some uncertainties of evacuation process and fire development at first. For occupant evacuation time assessment, occupant pre-movement time is characterized by normal distribution. For onset time to untenable conditions assessment, its uncertainty is considered as probability distribution according to the range of design fires. Based on event tree technique, probable fire scenarios are analyzed with consideration of the effect of fire protection systems, employees extinguishing, etc. It is difficult to make a precise assessment on probability and consequence of every fire scenario, but their lower bound and upper bound can be achieved based on statistical data. Therefore, Supersoft Decision Theory [Malmnäs, P.E., 1995. Methods of Evaluation in Supersoft Decision Theory. Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University, 365 Stockholm; Johansson, H., Malmnäs, P.E., 2000. Application of supersoft decision theory in fire risk assessment. Journal of Fire Protection Engineering 14, 55–84] that allows decision maker to utilize vague statement is utilized to integrate with risk assessment to make decision on different fire safety design alternatives. To express how to make decision on different fire safety design alternatives based on evaluating building fire risk to life, two hypothetical fire safety design alternatives for a commercial building are presented.