Tech Talk 1 - Basement Fires
A final report of the “Strategies For Fire-Fighting In Basements” project is available below, see attachments. The main relevant works concerning basement fires and backdraught which have been identified in the literature are listed and summarised. Initial experimental work (WP1) is described and discussed. Four modes of burning behaviour are identified and the conditions under which they may exist are defined. The outcome of preliminary discussions with various fire brigades (WP2) are discussed.
The main conclusions so far are:
- Formal cooperation has been established with London Fire Brigade and the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.
- This cooperation has already led to proposed changes in LFB’s Policy Notes.
- Informal contact has been made with other fire services across Europe.
- Operational practices regarding fires in basements have been reviewed.
In general, the operational guidance is not to ventilate or let the fire ventilate itself naturally. Experimental results using a larger, two room, basement apparatus (WP3) are presented. A test setup and procedure has been defined which promotes conditions which consistently lead to flashover and backdraught in the apparatus. It is shown that backdraught conditions can generally be avoided by opening both vents in quick succession, creating a cross-flow situation. In situations where cross-flow ventilation cannot be used, dilution may be the best mitigation technique. This requires further research beyond the current project.
Operational guidance, journal papers and conference presentations (WP4) are in preparation for presentation beyond the end of the project.