FSEG LOGO FIRE SAFETY ENGINEERING GROUP The Queen's Anniversary Prize 2002 The British Computer Society IT Awards 2001 The European IST Prize Winner 2003 The Guardian University Awards Winner 2014
The Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities


The objective of the project, therefore, was to develop the new, sophisticated modelling techniques required to help in the development and optimisation of new technology fire detection and fire suppression-extinguishment systems. For industry, the development of these techniques would provide the following capabilities and benefits:

  • the ability to model the effect of different fire scenarios and fire positions, the ability to model the effect of different physical configurations of aircraft, ships, vehicles and buildings and the ability to generate data to allow the fire proofing of these enclosures to be assessed;
  • the ability to model fire detection-activation systems and water mist suppression-extinguishment systems to allow their performance (detection, suppression and extinguishment) to be assessed and optimised without conducting fire tests;
  • a reduction in system development time and in the number of fire tests necessary for system certification;
  • the replacement of synthetic extinguishing media that damage the environment.

The software models to be developed and validated would include the following:

  • a fire model capable of predicting the spread of fire hazards throughout the atmosphere of a forced ventilated enclosure, subject to a fire of prescribed characteristics;
  • a detection-activation model which predicts the activation of fire sensors within a forced ventilated enclosure;
  • a water mist-fire atmosphere interaction model;
  • a fire suppression model.

Note that further work would be required to allow the modelling of other alternative agents such as powders and other gases and of alternative structures (e.g. buildings).

There is an immediate need to improve fire detection systems. With the increasing cost of halon, and with depleting halon stocks, the demand for a halon replacement suppression medium is increasing. The aim of the programme, therefore, was to put the Consortium in a position by the end of the programme, to provide an improved fire detection system and an acceptable halon replacement suppressant in the form of water mist. This time scale was commensurate with market demand within the airline industry.

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