‘It depends’: Descriptive research into fire growth and the chances of survival
The town of Zutphen, the Netherlands, has given the Dutch fire service the unique opportunity to research modern fire development in real homes with realistic layouts and furnishings. Both day-to-day practice and national and international studies have shown that fires have changed in recent years due to the increase in the use of synthetic materials in furniture and fixtures and in the building itself (e.g. insulation).
An important question is what the consequences of these ‘modern fires’ are for the occupants, the people living in the home in question. And what are the implications for firefighters who come to help occupants – who cannot escape by themselves – and to put out the fire?
The results of this research into fire growth and survivability show that such research is necessary, that it yields useful results, and that investing in research is not in vain.