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Topic Title: Fire
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Created On: 30 August 2013 12:48 AM
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 30 August 2013 12:48 AM
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justyburns

Posts: 8
Joined: 30 August 2013

Sorry all, my first text in this forum.

Is there any recognition of fire science and engineering on this forum? Or is this not the appropriate place for it?

I'm curious only from the point of view of being a watcher for a while, and have gained benefit from the site, you have some really good contributors.

Has anyone entered in here from the fire side of things?
 30 August 2013 08:16 PM
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kengreen

Posts: 400
Joined: 15 April 2013

for myself the direct answer is no - I have never posted on this matter. However when conscripted into the Royal Navy I was put through a fire fighting course as carried out within a steel box. I must admit that, even under controlled conditions and with the regular fire force standing by - I have never been more scared in my life! There is something implacable a bout fire and that is not helped by obscured vision even if you can breath. An interesting concept was conveyed however in the classroom in that, before anything can burn (oxidise) it must first melt and then vaporise - which is why the cooling effect of water is the first choice against fire.

Ken Green
 01 September 2013 12:27 AM
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justyburns

Posts: 8
Joined: 30 August 2013

Hi Ken, thanks for the reply.

I have a firefighting background. I originally started with the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade and now serve as an Officer with the Dublin Fire Brigade.

Great to hear you were once a firefighter (of sorts). Ship firefighting is a very special discipline. Heat conduction can come from six sides. This is not something that the normal domestic dwelling will replicate.

Indeed, today firefighting within a compartment is fully focussed and based on 3d dynamics resulting from pyrolysis of the materials subjected to heat within the compartment, differences in the gas states and composition of those gases. We've even brought the science a little closer by looking at the ideal droplet size when using firefighting branches. This takes significant engineering knowledge to design efficient and effective firefighting tools.

My hope is to expand my knowledge and understanding of the broader engineering environment by drawing of other peoples experiences and knowledge. I am a full member of the Institution of Fire Engineers and whilst this has given me a very broad perspective, I do yearn for more. Fire science and engineering covers everything that we could possibly encounter. From fluid dynamics, thermo dynamics, electricity, hydraulics even the social and psychological sciences to name but a very few. It's an art form. I really do hope to learn more from you guys.

Thanks again, Justin.
 01 September 2013 09:49 AM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

With regards to fire the key thing is to assess the risks and put in place proper control measures to either eliminate the hazards or reduce the risk so far as is reasonably practicable, i.e., prevention. The next requirement after that is to put in place control measures to tackle a fire ASAP after it starts, i.e., before it really takes hold. Once a fire is out of control it is then about regaining control and/or else protecting life, including the fire fighters lives.

However as you know government funding to the fire and rescue teams is, and has been, being cut and also some businesses cut back on their fire protection costs. Nowadays the fire and rescue teams do not interface with businesses nearly as much as they used to and do not offer the same services they used to. It does not matter how well you can fight a fire that has started, when we take away the front end, i.e., the prevention aspects, we increase the risks. We scrapped the 'Fire Certificate' and put the responsibility for risk assessment on the business and then cut back the resources which ensure those risk assessments are actually carried out or else carried out properly.......lack of joined up thinking by the government I think.

Regards.

Edited: 01 September 2013 at 09:59 AM by westonpa
 19 September 2013 01:48 AM
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justyburns

Posts: 8
Joined: 30 August 2013

Indeed Westonpa, I couldn't agree more. The ABI (Association of British Insurers) can qualify much of what you say in fire damage loss relative to the lower number of fires. They seem to be incurring higher losses despite better engineered solutions. This can be explained in one camp as lack of intervention.

However is there recognition of our trade? Would you judge the role of firefighter as an engineering or scientific professional?
 19 September 2013 02:46 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

I would have thought these were examples of your trade:

http://www.ifsm.org.uk/
http://www.ife.org.uk/

Engineering of course overlaps many areas and so it's really about looking where the key parts of your area fit into and really that is the types of institutions above which exist for it.

Regards.
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