Learn from Disaster: How Fire Safety Evolves


You’ll remember back in August last year we talked about the Great Fire of London and how one positive outcome of the disaster was the improvement in both fire protection legislation and enforcement. Fire protection continues to evolve even up to the present day – every significant fire is investigated and analysed and is likely to have an impact on future laws and best practice guidance. As construction methods and occupancy habits change over time, so fire protection needs to change too, to ensure we and future generations are kept as safe as possible.

One interesting example is the New London School Explosion 80 years ago in Texas. A leak of natural gas filtered through the school and caused an explosion that killed around 300 people and wrecked the building. No one noticed the gas leak because natural gas is invisible and odourless in its raw state. This tragedy resulted in it becoming standard practice worldwide to add odour to natural gas so it is easier to detect. Click on the link above to see the original 1930s newsreels and to hear first-hand survivor accounts.

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