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…

The history of product certification
Third-party product certification schemes build on and strengthen the assurance provided by testing. They help to ensure that products and systems are consistently manufactured to exacting standards, have been installed correctly and/or will perform as required throughout the lifecycle of…
Becoming green and the challenges for optical flame detection

We are all too aware of the drivers to become greener. In some cases, the introduction of new equipment and the transition to alternative fuels is bringing significant challenges for optical flame detection. This article will highlight just a few…

The conventional market is not going away

For many people, the advent and growth of addressable fire detection indicated the end of the conventional detector market. As microcontrollers took off in the 1980s, the advanced computing power resulted in a greater capacity to handle information and more…

Taking protective action during floods and storms

Public safety messages for floods and storms will be broadcast on ABC Radio this severe weather season, backed by Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC research.  Comprising 26 different public messages, the new Community Service Announcements (CSAs) are the first-ever nationally…

GEN III Smart Proportioner – remote testing system

Regular testing and maintenance ensure a maximum service life and functional and failure-related safety of technical appliances. The same applies to foam-based fire extinguishing systems and the foam proportioners installed in them.  Up to now, such testing and maintenance have…

Suppression strategies for peat fires – Part 3

The main factors that affect fire spread in peat are moisture content, oxygen supply, and the type and density of the fuel. This article covers some suppression options for shallow peat fires burning to a depth of 1 metre. Logistics…

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, emergency responders and property at risk.  A fragmented…

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…

As a trusted partner of the Australian Government, Standards Australia engages with countries in the Pacific.

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.…

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…
The term ‘char fall-off’ refers to charred pieces of the exposed lamella detaching from the timber structure and falling off, such as this CLT sample shows after burning under exposure to external heating of 20kW/m² and structural loading (Left: Front view. Middle: Side view). Exemplary pieces of char fall off collected from the floor of the setup after testing (Right).

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…

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…

The 2021 wildfire season in the U.S. could be even worse than 2020. A greater focus on prevention is needed to avoid devastating damages from wildfires.

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…

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