Home Office releases study findings from the SAFE project

The Home Office published a comprehensive report in February 2024 summarising the outcomes of live evacuation testing research conducted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The research tested the efficiency of evacuation strategies from high-rise residential buildings (HRRBs) using five live operational testing strategies. The experimental study, conducted in 2022 between May 3 and 6, was a meticulous investigation into the effectiveness of various evacuation strategies, potentially holding the key to saving lives in high-risk situations in response to the recommendations from the Grenfell Enquiry.

The Home Office commissioned the University to conduct live evacuation testing and follow-up modelling to provide evidence to support the development of national guidelines for carrying out evacuations from HRRBs. The report reflects the University’s analysis and interpretation of the original dataset and sets out nine national guidelines for the fire and rescue services. Each guideline details a finding and then provides the underpinning evidence of that finding. They derive predominantly from our SAFE project research.

The results of this crucial study extend beyond academic significance as it is anticipated that they will play a substantial role in enhancing safety protocols and evacuation procedures within HRRBs nationally and internationally. Furthermore, the insights derived from the University’s live evacuation experiments may guide the development of more efficient evacuation protocols, potentially leading to lives being saved in real fire emergencies.

The research undertaken by the University is evidence of how research can influence the creation of secure and resilient urban habitats.

For more information please contact Dr. Eleni Asimakopoulou or Dr Shephard Ndlovu.

Discover more