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Unique fire event attracts global academics

Unique fire event attracts global academics Banner Image

From l-r UCLan’s Associate Professor Dr Anna Stec, firefighter Tommy Kjaer, the founder of the Danish Firefighters’ Cancer Association, and UCLan’s Professor Richard Hull.

Fire experts from around the world have visited Preston for a unique conference.

Fire experts from around the world have visited Preston for a unique conference. 

Academics, physicians, researchers and firefighters from America, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and across the UK joined University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) scholars to discuss the toxic nature of fire smoke.

The three day conference highlighted the health concerns associated with toxic smoke inhalation. Scientists described the evolution and measurement of toxic products from fires while medical practitioners explained their effects, dealing with the short and long-term care of fire victims. Issues of firefighter safety and the abnormally high rates of cancers amongst them was discussed along with how the regulatory framework that fails to protect fire victims from smoke inhalation may be addressed.

Although the inhalation of toxic smoke is the biggest killer and the largest cause of injury in fires, it is very much the neglected area of fire science and fire safety engineering.

Richard Hull, Professor of Chemistry and Fire Science in UCLan’s Centre for Fire and Hazards Science, said: “Although the inhalation of toxic smoke is the biggest killer and the largest cause of injury in fires, it is very much the neglected area of fire science and fire safety engineering.”

Associate Professor Anna Stec, one of the organisers, added: “The conference exceeded all expectations, in bringing together disparate groups who had all been working in isolation trying to tackle different aspects of the toxicity of fire smoke.”

For an in-depth report visit UCLan's Centre For Fire and Hazard Science.

Rachel Atkinson | 14 April 2016