Does the final floor height of an existing domestic building influence the fatality risk with regards a fire. A study of the London Borough of Lambeth

Mark Kirk*, Gianluca Pesce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

This paper analyses the relationship between the final floor height of existing buildings and the related means of escape from fire, to assess the potential fatality risk in low rise domestic dwellings. Aim of this research is to improve rehabilitation measures, as well as maintenance and management strategies of existing buildings. Recent UK Government guidance has focused on high rise residential buildings following the Grenfell Fire disaster that occurred on the 14th June 2017 and was reported by all main international media. In such occasion, a fire started in a tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London (UK) and led to the death of 72 people. This tragedy highlighted serious failings of the regulatory system in England. As a consequence, the UK government is introducing far reaching regulations to improve building and fire safety, so that people will be and will feel safer in their homes. Part of these regulations, however, focus on ‘higher risk buildings’ which is any building that is at least 18 metres or 6 storeys tall and contains either 2 or more dwellings or student accommodation. Consequently, little attention is paid on the potential risk for domestic buildings with less than 6 stores where fires can still lead to high fatalities. This paper provides an overview of the literature available on the topic, including the statistics associated with fires in domestic buildings, the recent UK Government guidance on fire safety to buildings, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and compliance. Primary research is based on data for existing and proposed UK Government guidance on the fire safety of occupants in domestic buildings, and data on fire incidents in domestic dwellings in The London Borough of Lambeth. Analysis of data from London Fire Brigade Incident Reporting System demonstrated that the height of a residential building does not always influence the fatality risk associated with building fires.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Jun 2021
EventREHABEND 2022 - Construction Pathology, Rehabilitation Technology and Heritage Management - Granada, Spain
Duration: 13 Sep 202216 Sep 2022

Conference

ConferenceREHABEND 2022 - Construction Pathology, Rehabilitation Technology and Heritage Management
Abbreviated titleREHABEND
Country/TerritorySpain
CityGranada
Period13/09/2216/09/22

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