Fig. 2: Depiction of typical fire-resistant polymeric cables in vertical installation after fire exposure.

Is your life-safety equipment ‘fit for purpose’?

Life-safety, firefighting and critical emergency systems depend on the unfailing reliability of electric cables during a fire. Should these essential cable systems fail, the critical equipment they supply also fails, putting occupants,…

Climate change and wildfire: a call to arms

Australia’s Black Summer of bushfires in 2019–20 was utterly unprecedented. Fires started in winter then burned through spring and summer until flooding rains caused a different type of catastrophe in countless communities already struggling to cope and recover. 2019 was…

Standards Australia supports quality infrastructure in the Pacific

As a trusted partner of the Australian Government, Standards Australia engages with countries in the Pacific. This supports Australia’s foreign policy objectives for a secure and prosperous region.  Support over the years has involved sharing standards developments processes and knowledge…

Safely tackling electric vehicle and internal combustion engine fires

With Australia and New Zealand plans to accelerate the sales of electric vehicles (EV) over the next decade, emergency services are steeling themselves to fight a completely new set of fire risks that will emerge as EVs become more popular.…

Real-time fire mapping of a small fire in Parkdale, Oregon. Drones can support early detection and rapid mapping of wildland fires before they grow too big. Image courtesy of TK-7, Overwatch Imaging

The future of fighting wildfires is drones

From California to Turkey to Australia, wildfires, also known as bushfires, are everywhere – and they’re increasing in both frequency and intensity. In 2020, over 10.2 million acres of land were affected by wildfires in the United States alone, compared…

When time is of the essence

While beautiful, the Australian landscape can be harsh and unforgiving. Affecting and devastating the lives of so many people across the country, the Black Summer Bushfires of 2019/20 are now permanently etched into our psyche. But there are many other…

Integration of innovation and technology and USAR coordination in major disasters
The Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Coordination Mechanism introduced by the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) is critical for international disaster response, to provide effective and efficient tactical operations to lessen victim mortality.  The INSARAG Coordination…
Understanding char loss and fall-off for fire-safe design of timber structures

Engineered timber is in high demand while the awareness of environmental pressures is growing. Worldwide research has studied the fire behaviour of timber but char fall-off remains one of the critical factors by delaying or preventing self-extinction. This article highlights…

Indigenous communities leading the way with natural hazards training

Existing natural hazards training is inadequate for remote Indigenous communities. New collaborative research has worked with Indigenous communities to develop training units that support and reinforce land management capabilities across northern Australia.  The management of natural hazards in northern Australian…

Aussie acts to combat Wildfires wherever they are.

Get ready for the big burn

This story is contributed by Warwick Lorenz from Australian Pump Industries. Warwick has learnt from the black summer of 2020. In this article he confronts the challenges facing us based on what appears to be the reality of climate change,…

Today’s personal protective envelope for motorsports response – Part 2

The ramifications of hybrids and electrics in motorsports is a significant concern. These vehicles bring a drivetrain type that would appear to be a major hazard to the casual observer. It is my belief that with the correct education and…

Firefighter safety, 30 years in the making

Safety. Comfort. Unless both are built into their protective clothing, no firefighter will be able to perform the tasks demanded of them. But how do you achieve that? For technical textiles specialist Otego, the answer lay in FIRESHIELD, a fire…

Breakthroughs accelerating the preventative use of long-term fire retardants

Aircraft have dropped red long-term retardants in response to out-of-control wildfires for almost 60 years. Long-term retardants were primarily purchased by countries and individual states to help protect citizens and critical assets in the face of impending wildfires. In the…

Helping volunteers shine as leaders

A new evidence-based toolkit is strengthening Australia’s emergency service workforce capability by supporting volunteer leaders in the way they recruit, onboard, manage and retain volunteers.  When a natural hazard strikes or an emergency arises, communities rely on emergency services personnel,…

Typical overall system schematic for a ‘cloud’ based solution for an application covering multiple sites.

IoT-enabled valve monitoring system can ease inspection burden

A new wireless valve monitoring system, which recently earned the FM Approvals certification, promises to help organizations lower the cost of monitoring critical sprinkler control (and isolation) valves and make it easier to receive alerts and other information from anywhere,…

Mitigating vehicle fires is key to preventing a life-threatening domino effect on mine sites

The prevalence of fire-related incidents in Australian mines means it is high time we take a more careful look under the bonnet of the heavy machines that keep that sector running.  Fires can occur wherever there is significant heat and…

Lessons from Black Summer: how people experienced the 2019/20 NSW fire season

More than 1,200 people shared their experiences of the worst fire season in New South Wales’ history to help improve communications and warnings. Research after the worst fire season in New South Wales’ history shows there are challenges around community…

Flame detector selection: Part 2 – detection technologies

Part One of our flame detection guide provided some pointers for the selection of flame detectors based on the sensing technology employed. This second article sets out some design considerations for your flame detection system. Broadly speaking, these considerations fall…

Use of foam for firefighting in tank farms of the oil and petrochemical industry – Part 2

Part One of this article described the typical incident scenarios at tank farm fires and presented foam as the most suitable extinguishing agent together with the firefighting equipment most commonly used. In Part Two we look at foam concentrate proportioning…

The TIC can be used to assess the extent of a hot spot once opened up with hand tools.

Selecting and using a thermal imaging camera for wildfire – Part 2

A thermal imaging camera (TIC) like any other item of firefighting equipment has limitations. This together with the misinterpretation of the displayed image and the failure to follow standard practices and procedures could result in the inability to identify and…

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