Current BRE Trust Supported Fire Safety Projects

Fire death and serious injury investigation

Fire death and serious injury investigation

UK domestic fire death numbers appear to have plateaued in recent years after more than three decades of decreasing fatalities. In this project a group of fire experts is analysing data gathered by fire and rescue services and reviewing the causes of fire deaths and the circumstances of serious fire related injuries. The outputs will be used to produce guidance on the effect that using new technologies or services can have on reducing deaths and injury from fire in homes.

Project update – first phase completed

Factors influencing a typical fire fatality and serious injury have been investigated in the first phase of this review. Fourteen recommendations have been proposed to potentially reduce fatalities and injuries, including the more effective use of existing technology, greater use of combined detection/suppression systems and identifying further areas to research such as fires from electrical appliances.

Next phase

The next phase will focus further on specific details from fire investigation reports for each of the 126 domestic fire fatalities occurring in the review period. In order to assess the proposed recommendations, the potential effectiveness of each of them will be considered during the review of the fire investigation reports.

View the first phase of the report here



The Trutest detector sensitivity tester being used on-site to get an alarm response from a commercial smoke detector

How long before replacing smoke detectors?

UK codes and regulations have no recommendations for when smoke detectors should be replaced. Detector performance and sensitivity changes with time and as components become dusty and electrical components degrade. This project is testing smoke detectors in domestic and commercial environments to identify the mean and spread of their sensitivities with age, and analysing this data to propose replacement periods. This will enable UK codes and guidance to be updated and will influence other countries to adopt more appropriate replacement periods based on research.

Read the latest report here