Kent Fire and Rescue Service

and Rescue, United Kingdom

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

and Rescue, United Kingdom

Time filter

Source Type

Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service | Grimwood P.,Glasgow Caledonian University | Sanderson I.A.,Glasgow Caledonian University
Fire Safety Journal | Year: 2015

The determination of firefighting water requirements in large, tall and complex buildings in the UK has largely been based on data retrieved from studies into full-scale test fires, combined with some real fire research undertaken by the Fire Research Station (FRS) from 1955-1970. This scientific research effectively formed the basis for the design and configuration of rising fire mains (stand-pipes) in tall buildings, as well as water storage provisions for town centre and infrastructure planning. The resulting guidance is also applied to individually isolated buildings that are distanced from the nearest available water supply. However, it is suggested the UK has since fallen behind many international standards and codes, where firefighting water provisions are more reflective of modern building design as movable fire loads, compartment dimensions and window (ventilation) sizes have increased over the years. There have been recent calls in both the UK and USA for the development of a performance based method of calculating firefighting water requirements for design purposes, based on the quantity of water actually being used effectively by firefighters. The recent publication of BS PD 7974:5:2014 (7974) meets this need in calculating 'adequate' and effective firefighting water (s.8.5). The research by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) provides a framework upon which the '7974' water strategy evolved and is based on an analysis of 5401 building fires that occurred in the UK from 2009 to 2012, where active firefighting was undertaken across a broad range of occupancies. When used in design, any recommended deviations from the prescriptive codes may achieve some cost/benefit advantages, whilst at the same time providing an improved firefighting water flow density (L/min/m2). It is also worth noting that UK prescriptive building codes do not differentiate between the volume of firefighting water storage required for residential or commercial buildings. Furthermore, reductions in compartment size and fire load, or enhancements to passive/active fire protection, may mean even less storage water is required when using the 7974 strategy compared to current code compliance. The GCU research clearly established that the severity of building fires is dependent on the size of compartment in which the fire originates; the containment of fire spread through the provisions of adequate passive or active fire protection; the fire load density and the potential for a fire to reach a fuel controlled burning regime at peak heat release for the compartment at Qmax. It is further demonstrated that the quantity of firefighting water that may be deemed as 'adequate' can be presented on a gradient (Fig. 13), ranging from the lesser amount (L/min) required in residential buildings (low-flow), upwards through offices or commercial mixed use buildings (mid-flow), to industrial and storage facilities (high-flow). This finding is not reflected in current codes. In using the '7974' methodology to calculate adequate firefighting water, simple equations are utilised in this paper for both sprinkler protected and non-sprinklered occupancies. The method can be also be used where either dry or wet rising fire mains (standpipes) are required. In referring to past fire case histories it is then demonstrated that fires can travel across large floor plates, with great speed. A spread rate of >20 m2/min may see a fire develop with such velocity and power that any fire service intervention can become compromised from the outset, unless adequate firefighting water provisions are available and effective fire protection measures are in place. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Some of the fundamental researches in the UK to devise a new methodology for estimating minimum firefighting water flow-rates are discussed. One of the researches was TP 2004/1 that used the flow factor of 0.58 required to suppress each MW of heat output from a building or enclosure fire. Another research was TFR 1989 study, which was conducted with an objective to record the actual firefighting water flow-rates used by firefighters to control and suppress structural fires. The research demonstrated flow-rates that clearly correlated with the extent of fire damage in buildings. The data from TFR 1989 was closely analyzed and combined with TP 2004/1, which led to a new efficiency factor of 0.50 used to produce a flow factor of 0.38 that resulted in core flow rates of 5.7 liters/min per 250kW/m2 of involved fire load for optimum suppression of enclosure fires.


Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2010

The smoke control systems designers must follow approved technical guidance to ensure that engineered smoke control systems meet a broad range of hazardous fire conditions requirements. The primary objectives of smoke control systems are to maintain smoke-free and tenable conditions within protected escape routes, assist firefighting operations by maintaining tenable conditions for firefighters, delay or prevent the onset of flashover and further fire development, and reduce smoke damage to the building and its contents. System operation while in the evacuation mode would attempt to maintain tenable conditions in escape routes (corridors) affected by smoke. The limited research that has gone into the development of modern powered smoke extract systems for the protection of common areas in flats includes computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and small-scale/full-scale well-ventilated fire tests.


Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2011

There are unusual air dynamics associated with fire spread in tall buildings that demand additional risk control measures to be in place prior to intervention occurring. It is certain that, in some cases, the water available from the rising mains is now being outpaced by the speed and extent of fire development and that extended fire service intervention times may even see existing fire-resistance levels surpassed in some situations. One of the most concerning issues for the fire and rescue service associated with tall building design is that of glass curtain walls. It is common for architects and fire engineers to rely on the text within the Building Regulations to demonstrate their designs meet the functional requirements. A distinct trend is emerging where many local authority building control byelaws are now stipulating that minimum external glazing dimensions of 25-30% of floor area served should be provided.


Smith S.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2011

Kent Fire and Rescue Service's Fire Investigation and Research Team (KFRS FIRT) has become aware of fires where hidden domestic LPG has been a factor, either as the origin of the fire, or a contributor to the speed or intensity of fire spread. Application of pressure liquefies LPG vapors at their specific critical pressure and below their critical temperature, reducing the volume of the substances and allowing them to be stored in a pressurized container as a liquid. Due to their thermal qualities, plastics such as polystyrene and polyethylene are used in their solid form as a heat insulation lining for refrigerators and freezers. LPGs are flammable hydrocarbons and their release to atmosphere near an ignition source will lead to combustion, provided the fuel is within its flammable limits when mixed with air. If LPGs are released to atmosphere and a fire already exists, the fuel potentially exacerbates the combustion process, making the situation much worse.


Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Fire Risk Management | Year: 2011

Paul Grimwood examines the implications of the risk of fire gases in a corridor igniting as firefighters access a residential apartment for smoke ventilation design and fire service tactics. These risks have been highlighted in a modeling study conducted to address these problems and find solutions. The study has used data that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) produced for a computer model of an apartment fire in New York City. The apartment fire has grown to about 500kW over 5 minutes simulation time in the NIST model and rapidly throttled back as the oxygen concentration drops below 10%. Temperatures in the apartment have peaked briefly at about 300°C and rapidly drops below 100°C as the burning rate falls.


Grimwood P.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service | Sanderson I.A.,Kent Fire and Rescue Service | Sanderson I.A.,Glasgow Caledonian University
Fire Safety Journal | Year: 2014

This paper describes research by Glasgow Caledonian University into fire-fighting water flow-rates as actually deployed to control and suppress >5000 building fires that occurred in two fire authority jurisdictions in the UK between 2009 and 2012. One fire service covered a large county suburban risk area with low to medium populated areas, whilst the other covered a large metropolitan region with heavily populated inner city areas included. Using data from the national IRS fire reporting framework (UK Fire & Rescue Service National Incident Recording System), it was demonstrated that there are critical links between the amounts of water used/required for effective fire-fighting in relation to the occupancy type, the density of the fire load, the estimated heat release from compartment fires and the extent of fire damage that may impact on the building and its contents. Comparisons are made to similar research undertaken previously in the UK that estimated water carried to the scene by fire engines (1800 l in the literature) was generally adequate in dealing with building fires on 86% of occasions. Interestingly, some fifty years later, the County/Metro research reported in this paper demonstrates that just 64% of fires are currently dealt with using the 1800 l on-board water provision provided by a single fire response vehicle, although the source of data representation may be different. A deployed flow-rate between 6 and 12 LPM/m2 per 100 m2 of fire involvement was generally observed in the current study and the variance was mainly relative to occupancy type. An existing design methodology for fire-fighting water provisions is then held in comparison to the County/Metro flow-rate data, demonstrating close correlations with this extensive empirical research. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Loading Kent Fire and Rescue Service collaborators
Loading Kent Fire and Rescue Service collaborators