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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 diagram shows the Centre for Fire and Hazard Science, surrounded by 6 subject areas. These are fire, toxicology, life sciences, engineering, chemistry and forensic science. Each one can be broken into several areas.

Our facilities

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

Researchers:

  • Louis Turrell
  • Andrew Robinson
  • Caitlin Maltby
  • Katarina Handlovicova
  • Thomas Snelgrove

Contact us

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.

Latest news

Making tall buildings safe from fire

After the Grenfell Tower tragedy occupants of high-rise buildings were too scared to sleep, while the social scandal shook the government. The tragedy led to a desperate search to understand the causes and to address them.

Friday 13 August 2021

Incorporating smoke toxicity into fire safety assessment

Most fire deaths and fire injuries result from the inhalation of toxic smoke. However, outside the mass transport industries, smoke toxicity is completely unregulated, allowing furniture and building products to be sold which produce lethal quantities of toxic smoke when they bur...

Thursday 5 August 2021

New training for firefighters launched to combat fire cancer threat

New training for firefighters, aimed to fight the cancer threat from fires, has been launched by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), having been developed in tandem with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Exploring solutions to extinguish occupational cancer in firefighters

An academic from the University of Central Lancashire’s world-leading fire toxicity research group has unveiled new findings to the European Parliament which could lead to the recognition of cancer as an occupational health issue for firefighters.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Firefighters’ cancer risk to be identified through new national database

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire have created the first UK registry that will quantify the health risks that firefighters face. Read more.

Thursday 4 February 2021