Practitioners can use the new guide to develop emergency and incident management teams. Image courtesy of Natural Hazards Research Australia

New guide to utilise non-technical skills in emergency management

A first-of-its-kind guide to help practitioners deepen their understanding and use of non-technical skills has been developed from Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC research. Designed for emergency management practitioners and instructors, A…

What are the applications of VTOL UAV/ DRONES in forest wildfires?
The VTOL drone intelligent high-altitude reconnaissance and forest fire video monitoring system is applied to forest fire prevention. It can carry out normal inspections in areas with flammable risks. It can make every effort to investigate hidden dangers and enable…
Using Thermal Imaging Cameras during size-up

Although Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) can be used for size-up, unfortunately they are often underutilized for that purpose.  A high-resolution, decision-making camera with a fast refresh rate can enhance size-ups and our planning process. If used in addition to traditional…

Role of planning in bushfire risk reduction – a brief introduction to Australian practice 

Over the past several years more frequent and severe hot weather patterns have occurred globally resulting in prolonged bushfire seasons, and often leading to severe environmental and economic damage, as well as losses of human lives.  As such, one of…

FST SmartConnect Sprinkler. Images supplied by Author / Contributor

Future fire sprinkler heads are digital

Fire sprinklers might be a safety necessity, but they come with their own risks in regard to maintaining them. Sprinkler systems are difficult to drain without causing a mess, are risky to health and can damage the contents of the…

Post-flood research is helping us learn from communities

A new independent research project is underway, seeking to learn from the experiences of those affected by flooding in New South Wales and Queensland this year, with results expected to improve community safety and resilience to floods.  The Community experiences…

Heatwave fatalities in Australia: a new analysis

Heatwaves, recognised as one of the key natural hazard risks to human health, have increased in frequency and intensity in recent decades, a trend projected to continue under most future climate scenarios (e.g. Perkins-Kirkpatrick et al., 2016).  This, in combination…

The road to mandating home fire sprinklers in Australia 

For well over a century, automatic fire sprinklers have proven to be a trusted, reliable, safe and very effective means to mitigate the fire risk to life, property and the environment. When installed in residential settings, fire sprinklers have been…

Grenfell: five years after the tragedy, what have we learnt and what action has been taken?
In the five years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, governments in the UK and across the Asia Pacific have taken action to change how the built environment is regulated, in part due to independent reform reviews in the UK and…
Figure 2A (PFOS levels) and 2B (PFHxS levels) in a large cohort of Australian firefighters shown as individual values in ascending order.

Reducing PFAS levels in firefighters by blood and plasma donation

Historically firefighters have been occupationally exposed to perfluoroalkyl substances such as PFOS, PFHxS and PFOA in AFFF firefighting foams. Many have subsequently been found to have high blood levels of these PFAS molecules. A recent landmark study1 has shown that…
An innovative flame-detector solution for helidecks and aircraft hangars

Fire & Gas Detection Technologies Inc. (FGD) is addressing the daily problems that impact productivity, safety and the bottom line with new innovative solutions that reduce false alarms. The FGD focus is to provide flame-detection equipment that is used to…

Science to guide our relationship with nature

CEO of Natural Hazards Research Australia, Dr Richard Thornton, reflects on the floods in Queensland and NSW, and how we can improve our mitigation, response and recovery.  The full force of nature has again been felt on the east coast,…

Use of search cameras during USAR operations
In Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) operations, and in particular structural collapse incidents, search cameras are one of the important technical search tools can help the USAR team to narrow down the search area and locate trapped victims inside debris…
Introducing the Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ) designed ‘Fusion Cruiser’

The RFBAQ are fusing the crew safety learnings from the Innovation Platform onto the RFBAQ designed Landcruiser Light Attack. Come see this vehicle at AFAC 22 in Adelaide, and over the next 12 months the vehicle will visit brigades for…

Standards Australia 2022 Innovation Award.

Award-winning just-in-time innovation

The fire-protection industry is accustomed to change and innovation. Despite being able to trace its roots back at least 2,000 years to ancient Roman times, the fire-protection industry is forward-thinking and has generally demonstrated a willingness to adopt technology and…
A rainy, fatal summer: how the 2021–22 La Niña season stacks up with previous seasons

Some 41 people have drowned (including three missing presumed dead (mpd)) over the 2021–22 La Niña period November 2021 to 12 May 2022 (at time of writing) from floods across south-east Queensland (QLD), northern New South Wales (NSW), Greater Sydney…

Changing the way we predict and respond to fire nationally

Nova Systems Geospatial (formerly Geoplex) has worked closely with AFAC and NSW RFS to tackle the largest change to the fire danger rating systems in a generation.  The Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) programme is shifting the way we…

Standards Australia’s Iconic Nation Report

As part of its centenary year, Standards Australia has released the Iconic Nation Report. This report looks at Standards Australia’s 100-year legacy including the disasters which shaped national standards, and the standards that support Australia’s icons. The report reveals up…

Innovative design sees Helitak gain additional approvals

Now widely used all over the world, Helitak have continued to build on their original design of the expandable fire suppression tank, adapting it to suit additional aircraft and broadening the number of models now approved to install and use…

The frequency of fire-generated thunderstorms has increased in the last 20 years, with Australia entering an era of violent pyro-convection. This research helps predict the formation of fire-generated thunderstorms, such as this one forming over Lake King in Western Australia, February 2020. Image courtesy of Christine Harper, DBCA, Western Australia

When fires cause storms

New technology is now available that predicts fire-generated thunderstorms, prompted by a sharp increase in the number of these storms and associated extreme fire events such as the devastating bushfires they caused in the 2019–20 fire season. Fire-generated thunderstorms, sometimes…

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