Date of release: Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fill in fire survey and help save livesAnyone who has ever experienced a fire in the past 12 months in their home – however small – is being asked to take part in an online survey which could help save lives.

The answers are being used in a collaborative research project, led by the University of Greenwich, which is aiming to understand people’s actions and decisions during a fire in the home.

The research has never been attempted on such a large scale before, and will form part of a national survey and database, identifying human behaviour during dwelling fires.

Professor Ed Galea, Director of the university’s Fire Safety Engineering Group, who is the lead academic on the LIFEBID project, is a world expert on fire and evacuation and the way that people behave in life-threatening emergencies. He says: “The public hold the answers to so many important questions about how people react when a dwelling fire breaks out. We need to understand much more about this area, if we are going to help reduce serious injuries and loss of life.

“We want to know how people behave during a fire in their home, their goals and priorities as the fire develops, how they react to the flames and smoke and, perhaps most importantly, why they react as they do.”

Professor Galea adds: “This is an area of research about which little is known, yet has enormous importance and value for future safety. We are asking the people of London to help us with this study and complete the online survey.”

The research is funded by Innovate UK (Technology Strategy Board) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Surveys can be completed anonymously and respondents simply need to describe their experiences. It is not necessary for the fire to have been major, or for those involved to have called 999, to take part.

The survey is at The site also has further information about the research project.

The Fire Safety Engineering Group, based within the Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities, is a world leader in aircraft, ship, building and rail evacuation, and fire modelling. Its projects have ranged from analysis of the World Trade Center evacuation to the design of the Airbus A380.

Story by Public Relations

Notes for Editors

Project LIFEBID is a collaborative project between the University of Greenwich and Kent Fire and Rescue Service, with support from the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA). Fire services throughout the southeast are taking part in the project. The fire services involved in the southeast launch of the project are those in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Royal Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight.