Fire Research Database – FReD – English Heritage

EnglishHeritage This database was set up by the public body English Heritage to enable all those responsible in any capacity for historic buildings to share information on related fire safety matters.

The database has now been expanded to allow PDFs of research reports to be attached, as well as giving contact points for current or planned projects and details of published reports.

this is the link to FReD Web page:

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/professional/research/buildings/fire-research-database

Historic Hereford pub destroyed by fire

Pub

A 15th Century pub has been gutted in a fire    which spread through a historic part of        Hereford city centre.

More than 100 firefighters were called to the High  Town area, where Booth Hall was engulfed in  flames.

Police said an electrical fault was believed to have  caused the fire, which broke out at about 0425 BST.

Three four-storey buildings containing River Island, Card Factory, Ann Summers and a mobile phone shop were also badly damaged, the fire service said.

The Booth Hall site, which dates back to 1392 and became a pub in the 15th Century, is a separate building.

Twenty fire engines were called to the scene and the area affected measured about 100m by 80m, the fire service said.

The head of policy and education at the chamber of commerce, said the fire was going to have “a major impact” on trading.

He said: “People will avoid the town centre today and this will affect the surrounding businesses who have managed to open.

“The impact in the medium term is unknown at the moment as it will depend on the severity of the fire and how long businesses are required to close.”

The council pledged support to local businesses affected by the fire by helping them to find alternative suitable premises.

The economic development team was scouring the city to identify potential properties for temporary or permanent occupation.

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-11593504#story_continues_1

Scottish Historic Buildings National Fire Database – Risk evaluation

In an attempt to evaluate and reduce the different level of risk in heritage building, in Scotland, a unique approach under the project title of the Scottish Historic Buildings National Fire Database (SHBNFD) was developed. The database provided a different kind of insight and approach to historic buildings at risk.

The SHBNFD project is an ongoing partnership between Historic Scotland and the eight Scottish Fire and Rescue Services. Initially covering the 3,500 Category A Listed Buildings across the country, the project’s overall aims are:

• to improve the effectiveness of fire-fighting operations in historic buildings by making available relevant information in a format suitable for use by fire crews attending an incident at these properties;

• to facilitate the improved reporting and gathering of statistics on fires in Scottish historic buildings

• to inform Historic Scotland’s Technical Conservation, Research and Education Group’s future research programme from the feedback material

The database has been developed as a ‘living document and provides an exchange of information between Historic Scotland (who hold reference details on listed buildings), the National Monuments Record of Scotland (NMRS) –located with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (who hold a survey, drawing and photographic archive of sites and buildings) – and the eight Scottish Fire and Rescue Services (who hold fire inspection information on buildings). Combining all of this material for each of the listed sites provides a unique insight into the location, quality and relevance for fire fighting crews.

Image of the Corgarff Castle, Aberdeenshire, taken from the 2008-2009 Report of the Scottish Historic Buildings National Fire Database. The database ensures that more accurate statistics are available on the extent of fire loss in the built heritage. Picture© Crown Copyright: RCAHMS

Continue reading “Scottish Historic Buildings National Fire Database – Risk evaluation”

Water mist for Protection of Heritage – Cost C17 Final report

In the final Report of the Cost C17 Action different aspects of fire protection of Cultural Heritage buildings have been addressed, as the water mist for fire protection, which at the time was a relatively new technology with specific advantages to the built heritage.

The standard design and manufacturing processes do not currently address heritage applications, but performance-based codes are favourable for introducing new water mist systems. This report establishes the current level of experience, and presents basic information about water mist for the heritage community. The challenges, implications and perspectives of the technology are outlined in order to ensure the best protection of European heritage. A guide on how to accept or approve mist systems in heritage properties is given. Continue reading “Water mist for Protection of Heritage – Cost C17 Final report”

Impacts of Fire on Stone-Built Heritage

Spalling Fire is one of the major threat to stone-built cultural heritage and this    paper is a review of the existing research into fire damage on building  stone. From early research based on anecdotal evidence of macroscopic  observations, scientists have moved on to develop various techniques  for approaching the investigation of fire damage to stone (high-    temperature heating in ovens, lasers, real flame tests), different aspects    of the damage that fire does have been learned from each, developing    understanding of how microscopic changes affect the whole.

This paper, published on the Journal of Architectural Conservation seeks to highlight the need for a greater awareness of the threat that fire poses (and the need to take precautionary measures in the form of fire-suppression systems), of the immediate effects, and of the long-term management issues of natural stone structures which have experienced fire.

Journal_Architectural_Conservation_15_2_47-58

Evaluating Physical Interventions as a Function of Hazard and Risk

Because historic structures vary by condition, extent of surviving historic fabric, past and proposed use and other factors, no universal means exists to evaluate inherent fire safety or the impact of potential improvements. Further, buildings have different roles in the ongoing operations of their institutions, ranging from organisations where exhibition of the building is a primary purpose, to those where the primary value is associated with the ability to house the functions required of that organization, eg schools or commercial ventures. Decisions regarding physical interventions should be appropriate to recognised hazards, which may be identified by a building survey or by review of relevant statistics.

foto 3.4

Higher risk hazard occupancies such as residential uses, or higher hazard     operations such as those using flammable materials, warrant higher levels  of intervention than occupancies presenting minimal risk. Each building  warrants an assessment of its unique hazards, as identified.

Fire risk assessments are tools for analysing site-specific hazards, and       ultimately selecting fire safety interventions that will satisfy an    organisationÕs established objectives. For historic buildings, fire risk  assessments consider the hazards in the context of the ability to undertake  architectural improvements, or to install technological systems in a manner    that has an acceptable physical and visual impact, and the approaches  established by building regulations or permitted alternatives.

Scottish Historic Buildings National Fire Database. Annual Report 2008-2009

Mike

The Minute of Agreement between Historic  Scotland and the Scottish Fire and  Rescue  Services  for the development of The Scottish Historic  Buildings National  Fire Database (SHBNFD)  continues to provide the structure to enable  Scotland to  remain a world leader in the  protection of the built heritage from the  devastating  effects of fire.

Mike Coull of Grampian Fire and Rescue Service  continues to serve in the role  of Heritage Co-  ordinator for the Scottish Fire Services. This post is  considered  crucial in not only delivering the key objectives set out in the Minute of  Agreement, but also to enable further research developing strategies with the Fire S ervice that will contribute to the protection of the built heritage.

The current Minute of Agreement was signed in October 2007 and sets out a wider set of outcomes to reflect the fact that the SHBNFD is much more than a database, it is a project setting out objectives driving forward the protection of the built heritage. To meet those objectives it was vital to ensure effective partnership working, through this it has been possible to establish protocols with each of the eight Scottish fire and rescue services for the exchange of information on Category B-listed buildings.

This Annual Summary Report aims to demonstrate that significant progress has been made in many of the outcomes identified within the Minute of Agreement over the past twelve months. In addition to the agreed outcomes, two significant tasks have been undertaken; a major International conference on ‘Fire Protection of the Built Heritage’ was held at Elphinstone Hall, Aberdeen on 5th May 2009 and a research project involving a series of fire tests on historic doors. Further details of these two initiatives are included within this report.

ANNUAL REP 09