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published: 24/10/2011
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Bob Neill experiences fire testing first hand at BRE

Fire Minister, Mr Bob Neill MP, witnessed full-scale cladding fire and water sprinkler demonstration tests at BRE's Watford site on 18 October 2011.

As Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government, Mr Neill's responsibilities include the Fire Service. He visited BRE to see how the testing and research conducted there contributes to fire safety standards and regulations, particularly Approved Document B - ‘Fire Safety' - of the Building Regulations. Mr Neill was also keen to enhance his understanding of the role of research and testing in developing innovations from a fire safety and fire fighting perspective.

Bob Neil










Sarah Colwell, Head of Suppression at BRE Global, discusses the vital role of fire research with Mr Bob Neill MP during a cladding fire test at the BRE Burn Hall.

Mr Neill said "It was fascinating to see, first hand, some of the important work that BRE does for Government and Industry. It's always useful to be able to put the things that come across my desk into context.

The demonstration tests were conducted in BRE's Burn Hall, the largest facility of its kind in the UK, using full-scale cladding and sprinkler test rigs. With cladding playing a key role in the spread and containment of fire in buildings, the testing of new and innovative cladding systems and materials, such as those designed to enhance building sustainability, in both new build and refurbishment projects, is an important element of fire safety.

The increasing use of sprinklers in smaller and residential buildings - in addition to their more traditional industrial and commercial building applications - and of newer technologies such as water mist systems, has highlighted the importance of testing their effectiveness in protecting people and property.

‘We were delighted to welcome Mr Neill on his first visit to BRE,' said Carol Atkinson, Chief Executive of BRE Global, ‘and to show him some of the fire testing that is carried out in these unique facilities. Our fire test laboratories comprise the most comprehensive suite of fire test labs in Europe and are important for examining and demonstrating whether products will perform as intended in real life'.

- ENDS -

Photographs of Mr Neill's visit to BRE and the tests he witnessed are available from Helen Ball
Press enquiries: Helen Ball, +44(0)1923 664303, ballh@bre.co.uk

Notes for Editors

BRE Global Limited (incorporating LPCB & BREEAM) is an independent third party approvals body offering certification of fire, security and sustainability products and services to an international market.
BRE Global Limited is custodian of the brands:
- LPCB for the approval of fire and security products and services, listed in the Red Book
- BREEAM the world's leading environmental assessment method for buildings, sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the  de-facto measure of a building's environmental performance.

BRE Global's mission is to ‘Protect People, Property and the Planet' and is part of the BRE Group under the BRE Trust, the registered research and education charity. For further information please contact: BRE Global, Garston, Watford, WD25 9XX, Tel: 01923 664100, Fax: 01923 664910, Email: enquiries@breglobal.com or visit www.breglobal.com


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