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Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: DRS-07-2014 | Award Amount: 4.32M | Year: 2015

Large scale crises are affecting critical infrastructures with a growing frequency. This is a result of both basic exposure and dependencies between infrastructures. Because of prohibitive costs, the paradigm of protection against extreme events is expanding and now also encompasses the paradigm of resilience. In addition to strengthening and securing systems; system design objectives are now being set, and response planning is being carried out, to facilitate a fast recovery of infrastructure following a large scale incident. With an interconnected European society, countries and infrastructures are increasingly reliant upon their neighbours, both under normal operating conditions and in the event of an incident. Despite this, there is no common European methodology for measuring resilience or for implementing resilience concepts, and different countries and sectors employ their own techniques. There is also no shared, well-developed system-of-systems approach, which would be able to test the effects of dependencies and interdependencies between individual critical infrastructures and sectors. This increases the risk as a result of reliance on critical infrastructures, as well as affects the ability for sharing resources for incident planning due to no common terminology or means of expressing risk. The overall objective of IMPROVER is to improve European critical infrastructure resilience to crises and disasters through the implementation of combinations of societal, organisational and technological resilience concepts to real life examples of pan-European significance, including cross-border examples. This implementation will be enabled through the development of a methodology based on risk evaluation techniques and informed by a review of the positive impact of different resilience concepts on critical infrastructures. The methodology will be cross sectoral and will provide much needed input to standardisation of security of infrastructure.

Steen-Hansen A.,SP Fire Research AS | Boe A.G.,SP Fire Research AS | Hox K.,SP Fire Research AS | Mikalsen R.F.,SP Fire Research AS | And 2 more authors.
Fire and Materials 2015 - 14th International Conference and Exhibition, Proceedings | Year: 2015

In the evening of the 18th of January 2014 a fire started in a private home in the small municipality Lærdal in the western part of Norway. There were strong winds and the fire spread quickly. The fire lead to heavy showers of glowing sparks and flying brands, spread from house to house and to the vegetation in the hillsides around the community. There was a considerable risk that the fire would spread to a large area comprising listed cultural heritage wooden buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Several fire brigades, the Civil Defence, Red Cross and many private volunteers put in a tremendous effort to control the fire and succeeded in protecting many residential homes and most of the listed buildings. Despite their efforts 40 buildings burnt down, including 17 residential homes and 3 listed buildings. 681 people were evacuated during the fire. No persons were seriously injured during the blaze. SP Fire Research has evaluated how and why the fire spread during a large fire in the community of Lærdal in Norway. The project has increased the understanding and knowledge of large fires where residential wooden houses are involved, and the results will be valuable for prevention of future large fires. Possible mechanisms of fire spread were assessed, e.g. fire brands that spread the fire hundreds of metres. The influence of the details of building constructions and their surroundings upon the fire development as well as effects of different efforts during the firefighting was also evaluated. © Interscience Communications Limited, 2015.

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