LIFEBID (Lessons In Fire
& Evacuation Behaviour In Dwellings)
Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
between: University of Greenwich (UoG) and Kent Fire & Rescue Service
Funded by: Innovate UK (Technology Strategy Board, TSB) and the
Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
KTP start and end dates: 1st May 2013 to 30th April 2016
Project LIFEBID: forms part of
the KTP and is a collaborative research effort involving UoG, UK fire
and rescue services (FRSs) and other relevant stakeholders
|KTP and project overview
Both the KTP and Project LIFEBID are aimed at understanding human behaviour in
dwelling fires (ADFs) and using this knowledge to reduce the unacceptably
high losses associated with these fires. Despite accounting for
less than 20% of all fires by type, ADFs have consistently been the
cause of approximately 60-70% of all fire-related deaths and injuries in
the UK (total UK ADF deaths and casualties in 2012-2013 were 217 and
7,354 respectively). Research on human behaviour in fire has focused
primarily on fires in large public buildings, e.g. stations, malls, high-rise
offices. How people behave when faced with a fire in their own domestic
space is not well known. As
such, most mitigation strategies for ADFs are based on
anecdotes/assumptions and focus primarily on early detection via smoke
alarms. Even with the high uptake of domestic alarms, ADF losses are
unacceptably high. To significantly reduce these losses it is essential
that a thorough understanding of behaviour in ADFs is developed.
The KTP, jointly funded by the Innovate UK (TSB) and EPSRC, is formed between the
Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG) of the University of Greenwich and
KFRS. The aim is to develop a knowledge-base and research capability that will be built and embedded within KFRS, initially directed at reducing fire-related deaths and injuries.
This will be achieved primarily through the collection of survey data from people who have experienced fires in their homes. A database of these experiences will then be developed with
a particular focus on the human behavioural aspects of such fire incidents.
However, ADFs impact residents across all parts of the UK, and beyond. Therefore, it was recognised
that a more detailed database, one that would allow fire safety professionals to draw more wider-reaching conclusions, could be generated by also involving the contribution of other
FRSs and relevant stakeholders (e.g. in the medical sector, government, and so on). Thus, Project LIFEBID was formed and comes with the backing of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA).
The collected data will be analysed to determine: how people react to dwelling fires; what steps they take to protect their property, themselves and/or others during dwelling fires;
also, how people may become injured during dwelling fires, as well as how people avoid becoming injured. The intention is that the LIFEBID database will continue to be populated with data
beyond the lifetime of the KTP to allow organisations to look, over time, at trends in human behaviour in ADFs and the effect of any interventions. This information will provide valuable
lessons to KFRS and other professionals involved in fire safety, helping them shape strategies, research and services to the public. The project findings will be made
available to the wider international fire safety community to ensure that as many people as possible can be assisted and protected.
Over the three-year
project, the key challenges for FSEG are:
- Identify actions undertaken by people during ADFs.
- Identify people’s perceptions of fire hazards (flames, smoke)
during ADFs and the risk they present.
- Identify the timing of injuries during ADFs.
- Develop an understanding of those factors which have the
greatest potential to impact survival, injury and death rates.
- Identify factors that influence human behaviour in ADFs.
- Understand how socio-demographics may impact these factors.
- Use this knowledge to develop intervention strategies to
mitigate the financial and societal costs of ADFs and to inform
public service provision/policy.
|Planned survey timeline
- Regional pilot study data collection during Summer 2014 -
- South East survey data collection during Autumn/Winter 2014-2015
- UK pilot study data collection during Winter 2014-2015 -
- UK-wide survey data collection during Spring/Summer 2015
|Take part in the survey
The survey will first be rolled out in the
South East of England and then across other parts of the UK.
If you have experienced a
domestic fire - small or large, whether the fire & rescue service was
called or not – and would like to assist us in our research please click
on the appropriate link below.
Domestic Fire Survey:
This survey is continuing to run in 2015. If you
have experienced a domestic fire and live in
the South East, please click
UK Domestic Fire Survey:
This survey is currently
being pilot tested in select regions of the UK; the survey will be
launched across the UK in full in April 2015. If you have experienced a domestic fire
live anywhere in the UK, please register
Non-UK Domestic Fire Survey:
People outside of the
UK may also take part in this research. If you have experienced a
domestic fire and live outside the UK, please
here. Before doing so, however, please read this
|Link to project website
||Papers related to project LIFEBID can be found on the
FSEG publications page
Relevant paper numbers: 297
||Prof. Ed Galea
Fire Safety Engineering Group
University of Greenwich
Greenwich Maritime Campus
Old Royal Naval College
Queen Mary Building
Greenwich SE10 9LS
Tel: +44 (020) 8331 8730