Project Overview

Risks that affect the built environment and threaten human life are becoming major societal issues in the 21st century. Managing these risks and responding to emergencies such as fires, floods, and terrorist attacks is important and needs to be planned efficiently and effectively to ensure minimal impact on society.

The government's White paper "Our Fire and Rescue Service" published in 2003 introduced reforms that refocused the role of the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) on the prevention of fires and broadened its role in dealing with other growing threats resulting from climate change and man-made disasters. As a result, a new statutory framework is now in existence that places a responsibility on the FRS to produce Integrated Risk Management Plans (IRMPs) to plan for, and respond to, a range of emergencies. However the new requirements of IRMPs that need a holistic and integrated approach and focus on fire prevention are introducing further research challenges, these can be summarised as follows:

  1. Lack of evidence based methods for the assessment of the effectiveness of prevention and protection measures used in buildings;
  2. Difficulties in assessing and predicting property, heritage, and human loss;
  3. The need for decision making tools for the cost effective allocation of prevention and protection resources.

The main outcome of this project will be the assessment and the development of tools and processes that will support the FRS in decision making regarding to the value of prevention and protection measures in the built environment; and the allocation of resources for fire safety interventions.