Centre for Fire and Hazards Sciences
The Centre for Fire and Hazards Sciences renowned expertise and unique testing facilities are intended to help to improve public safety through contributions to professional knowledge and international fire safety regulations.
The Centre for Fire and Hazards Sciences research is truly multidisciplinary. It covers a full range of expertise from fire safety engineering to medicine embracing chemistry, physics, biology, health and environmental sciences.
Areas our expertise cover:
- Hazards from fire effluents and residues: Analysis of fire effluents and residues consistently shows modern fires to be more toxic than currently assumed. We have identified large quantities of several carcinogens in fire residues.
- Fire toxicity: Fire effluents testing, measurement and their impact on a human and environment.
- Fire chemistry: Understanding the mechanisms of decomposition and burning of materials.
- Fire retardancy: Studying of flame retardants and their interaction with the polymers on the flammability, and toxicity.
- Fire science: The study of the burning processes, achieved by isolating the individual steps of the overall combustion (including pyrolysis, product formation, oxidation reactions), and examining them in detail under carefully controlled laboratory conditions.
- Fire investigation: Analysis of fire-related incidents and determination of the cause of the fires.
- Fire testing: Analysis and interpretation of the results of small-scale tests and to make predictions about large and real scale fires.
- Development of experimental techniques: Using unique combinations of both fire, chemical and analytical measurements to maximise our understanding of the chemistry of fuel, combustion and toxic product generation processes.
The diagram below shows the Centre for Fire and Hazards Sciences, surrounded by 6 subject areas. These are fire, toxicology, life sciences, engineering, chemistry and forensic science. Each one can be broken into several areas. Fire involves fire sciences, combustion, smoke toxicity, fire retardancy, fire investigation and indoor air quality. Toxicology involves occupational and environmental toxicology as well as emergency response. Life Sciences include cancer, clinical management, cardiovascular disease, and burn and inhalation trauma. Engineering includes fire safety engineering, fire modelling, architecture and the built environment and aerospace (through the use of drones etc.) Chemistry includes material sciences, analytical chemistry and environmental sciences. Forensic includes forensic investigation, forensic chemistry and forensic toxicology. The diagram shows how each of these provide input into the Centre for Fire and Hazards Science.
The Centre for Fire and Hazards Sciences (CFHS) Research Laboratory has a wide range of experimental methods and over 50 years’ experience in the field of fire chemistry and toxicity. This accumulated knowledge and research expertise can be made available through specific research projects, general liaison, advice and consultancy services.
We have a very wide range of facilities and equipment for quantifying fire behaviour and standard testing which is available for research, consultancy and testing. If you are interested in using our facilities please get in touch to discuss.
About the team
- Professor Richard Hull
- Professor Anna A Stec
- Prof David Purser, Hartford Environmental Research
- Prof Jim Glockling, Technical Director FPA and RISCAuthority
- Phil Houldsworth
- Dr Artur Witkowski
- Dr Clare Bedford
- Dr Jacob Lane
- Dr Taylor Wolffe
- Kathryn Dickens
- Louis Turrell
- Andrew Robinson
- Caitlin Maltby
- Katarina Handlovicova
- Thomas Snelgrove
We have a very wide range of facilities and equipment for quantifying fire behaviour and standard testing which is available for research, consultancy and testing.
Please get in touch with us and we will be very pleased to discuss fire problems with you.
- The circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire at Grenfell Tower
- Environmental impact of fire residues
- Fire toxicity from upholstery furniture containing fire retardants
- Quantify the influence of fire effluents and residues on indoor air quality
- Fire toxicity of insulation products
- Cladding and Sandwich Panels Large scale testing
- Decontamination and Assessment of Fire Scenes
Grenfell Tower Fire
- Crucial gaps in the façade fire safety regulatory regime
- Grenfell Tower panels 55 times more flammable than least combustible materials available, study reveals
- Grenfell toxic soil research and refugee project shortlisted for prestigious awards
- New research finds significant contamination in soil surrounding Grenfell Tower
Firefighters and Their Health
- Urgent action needed to protect firefighters from risk of getting cancer, scientists find
- Exploring solutions to extinguish occupational cancer in firefighters
- Pioneering research highlights dangers to firefighters
- New training for firefighters launched to combat fire cancer threat
1st International Conference on Fire Toxicity