Most fires are started by humans, but warmer and drier summers will mean a small spark will more easily turn into a serious fire.
Since the Grenfell Tower fire claimed 72 lives in 2017, Australia has identified flammable cladding on more than 3,400 buildings. Despite apartment owners’ fears and rising costs, few have been fixed.
Identifying and fixing apartment defects can be challenging, especially as they’re often the shared responsibility of all owners in the building. A new guide aims to help navigate the pitfalls.
Persistent heat waves and dry lightning are part of the problem. For firefighters, the erratic behavior gets dangerous quickly.
Fires that burn the forest burn crops and pastures alike. But farmers in the eastern Amazon are left with few good options.
The public inquiry into Grenfell makes its first report – but those responsible for the circumstances leading up to the fire are yet to face the consequences.
It will take time to digest the details of the 830-plus page report from phase one of the inquiry, but there are clear improvements to be made.
Ensuring a building will be safe against fire requires careful consideration from not only fire engineers, but also from builders, architects and building owners.
Common emollients used to treat skin conditions are a hidden fire risk in most homes.
Estimated costs for Victoria alone range from hundreds of millions to as much as $1.6 billion If work to rectify buildings fitted with combustible cladding isn’t well handled.
Years of regulatory failure are having direct impacts on the hip pockets of the many Australians who bought defective houses or apartments. It’s turning into a multibillion-dollar disaster.
Under the new code, buildings are hardly likely to differ measurably from their fault-ridden older siblings and can still fall short of a six-star rating. It’s possible they may have no stars!
Architects, certifiers and engineers who work as consultants to builders are on notice about potential liability for the use of flammable cladding, but governments are also culpable for their actions.
The risks of combustible cladding on high-rise buildings have long been known. And audits have identified hundreds of Australian buildings with this cladding. Delay in replacing it is inexcusable.
The Black Saturday fires transformed the way Australia responds to bushfires.
Fortunately, no lives were lost in the latest cladding fire in Melbourne, but it’s a stark reminder of the urgent need to track and verify that building materials comply with safety standards.
But humans can counteract global warming impacts by creating more fire-resilient societies.
With wildfires continuing to rage across southern California, a fire researcher says lowering fire risk means reconsidering where and how we build our communities.
Many countries around the world are vulnerable to wildfires, but a fire engineer warns that most are not spending enough on research into how fires spread and ways to reduce risks.
The media and policymakers often say a ‘perfect storm’ of environmental factors cause wildfires but that ignores the role of irresponsible urban planning and development in raising fire risks.