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Video - staff room fire reconstruction

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Sir Ken Knight officially launched the BRE Global and Fire Investigations UK partnership at a unique fire investigations event held at BRE.

In an address to the delegation, the Government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser highlighted some of the high profile fires that experts from BRE Global and FI UK have been involved in including Penhallow Hotel, Bethnal Green shop basement and Lakanal House.

Sir Ken said: “It is a pleasure to be invited to launch this new partnership. Fire investigation remains the key to understanding fire. It enables us to learn how to prevent and respond to fires better, how to build safer buildings and understand why a fire occurred. Not only to learn for the future, but to be able to identify what failings were responsible for a particular fire.”

More than 60 delegates listened to a series of short presentations to set the scene and then witnessed a practical demonstration of a fire carried out in BRE’s Burn Hall facility in Watford.

The purpose built rig was set up to represent a generic staffroom setting and was ignited to show the dangers of a fire in the workplace. During the reconstruction, David Crowder of BRE Global and Peter Mansi of FI UK described the scene as it developed, giving an insight to how quickly a fire can spread, how it evolves, to picking through the debris to establish the origin and cause. Measurements of peak heat release rates were taken from the fire and relayed in the debriefing explaining how these can be scientifically used for further computer modelling or engineering analysis.

Carol Atkinson, CEO of BRE Global, said, “The BRE Global and FI UK partnership brings together teams of leading fire investigators, engineers and scientists to support the police, businesses and insurers and many others in their investigations and to help them ensure that such incidents are not repeated.”

She added: “Good quality fire investigation can help save lives and play a major role in protecting businesses from risk.”