In the 1998/1999 round, the Commission identified the following as its research priorities
- How people learn about the effects of fire in both the urban and rural sectors
- How they respond in an emergency
- How strategies and actions may be identified to reduce the risk to people in a fire
- How strategies and actions may be identified to mitigate against the effects of vegetation fires
- Identification of strategies to assess hazards of vegetation in the rural areas and to determine resource requirements accordingly
- How these strategies may be communicated to vulnerable groups
- Research in relation to new Zealand Standards and Codes of Practice relevant to the Commission's strategic goals
- Achievement of the Commission's goals in respect of reduction of false alarms
An advertisement inviting Expressions of Interest was publicised in November 1998. Some 70 applications were received from within and outside the Fire service, from which a shortlist of 20 projects was selected, to be developed into detailed proposals. The shortlist was put together with reference to the Commission's stated aims for the fund as well as an assessment of the track record of the organisations and the perceived usefulness of the project outcomes. The detailed proposals were received in early February and the Research Advisory Group met on the 24th February 1999 to consider them.
The research proposals received were of almost universally high quality. Each was assessed against the evaluation criteria. The 10 projects recommended covered a range of topics and budgets, and were judged to be those with the best balance of all of the above.
Reducing The Cost Of Domestic Sprinkler Systems
This project will consolidate what is known about the value of domestic sprinkler systems, and will investigate the possibilities of making the systems cheaper. The location and spacing of heads, water flow and use of novel materials will be investigated. The new designs proposed will be tested in an experimental programme, conducted on full scale using an instrumented 3-bedroom domestic house and realistic furniture items. The proposed systems will also be assessed using a cost benefit analysis to determine the cost per life saved of installing such systems. The outcome of the study will be a report recommending changes to the New Zealand Standard for domestic sprinkler systems.
Report 1: Cost Effective Domestic Fire Sprinkler Systems [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 8Mb]
Bay-Waikato Fire Region
Determining Effective Fire Safety Strategies for Maori
Based on the accepted knowledge that members of the Maori population are significantly over-represented in fire fatalities, this project sets out to give the New Zealand Fire Service a better understanding of how to promote fire safety amongst those at risk. It will be carried out collaboratively between the New Zealand Fire Service and a local Maori community organisation. The study will be based on small group and individual interviews. The outcomes will be of direct use in generating appropriate publicity campaigns for Maori communities.
Report 2: Determining Effective Fire Safety Strategies for Maori [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 1Mb]
A Strategy for Developing Greater Community Responsibility for Fire Safety & Prevention Market Research Proposal
This project seeks to ascertain the views of the general public on fire safety, what constitutes safe and unsafe behaviour, and where people think responsibility for fire safety lies. The project will make use of the well established techniques of Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI) techniques which ensure as far as possible a random cross section of the population is interviewed and that consistency in the interviewing technique is preserved. It is planned that 1000 people will be interviewed.
Report 3: A strategy for developing greater responsibility for fire safety and prevention [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 645Kb]
Caldwell Consulting Ltd
Risk Assessment Of Corridor Smoke Detectors In Rest Homes
The study aims to make recommendations based on engineering analysis which could be used to ensure a consistent approach to the use of smoke detectors in rest homes across the country, which is currently lacking. The study will utilise a scenario-based approach and will make use of fire models to determine the time of onset of untenable conditions in corridors, with doors open and closed, detectors installed or not. The study will also include a cost-benefit analysis to determine the cost per life saved for corridor smoke detectors.
Report 4: Risk assessment & cost benefit analysis of corridor smoke detectors on rest homes [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 503Kb]
National Rural Fire Authority
Purchase Access Rights to Fire Behaviour Data From Project Vesta
The project is a collaborative one with Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management. The New Zealand Fire Service contribution to the project will secure access to results from a major experimental programme being conducted in Western Australia on forest fire behaviour.
View the findings at: www.ffp.csiro.au/nfm/fbm/vesta/index.html
Auckland Fire Region
Compressed Air Foam Project
With the planned increasing use of CAFS within the New Zealand Fire Service this project seeks to examine some of the issues that will face fire investigators when examining a scene at which CAFS has been used. The first part of the project will be a laboratory analysis of the effect that CAFS extinguishing agents have on flammable liquids. The second part of the project will involve full scale fire tests extinguished using CAFS. Debris will be retrieved and subjected to forensic analysis. The tests will make use of accelerants and will set out to determine the nature of the contamination introduced by the CAFS foam. Experiments will also be conducted to establish the effect of CAFS on fires in motor vehicles.
Report 67: Compressed Air Foam Project [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 9Mb]
Henderson Fire Station
The Safety Zone
The project sets out to develop a pilot study already undertaken in the community, making use of a demonstration model for children to help them to understand smoke movement. The aim of the project is to construct several such models and to trial them with schoolchildren. The aim is to get 300 young people through the programme to evaluate its effectiveness.
Technology Transfer Support Mechanism For The Fire Research Programme
This project concentrates on the technology transfer aspects of existing research within Forest Research. There is great value in extracting useful information from research into rural fire safety already carried out and publishing it in an accessible format for a range of users from researchers to homeowners. In the first year of funding the published reports will relate to an analysis of a case study where a number of firefighters were injured, a guide to the flammability of native New Zealand species, and a proposed revision of the fire danger class criteria for forest and rural fire areas.
Report 20: A Flammability Guide for Some Common New Zealand Native Tree and Shrub Species [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 4Mb]
Report 21: Fire Behaviour as a Factor in Forest and Rural Fire Suppression [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 1Mb]
NZ Council for Educational Research
Improving the Fire Safety Knowledge & Practices of Vulnerable Groups
This study concentrates on vulnerable groups within the community such as the elderly, the very young, people living in the country, low-income families and Maori. The study sets out to determine what these people know and how they learn, what they would do in an emergency, what strategies would reduce their fire risk, and what differences there are related to each of the identified categories. The study will make use of interviewing techniques. In the second year the study will use the information gathered to develop resource material for communicating safety messages and will trial this in the vulnerable communities identified.
Report 8: Improving the Fire Safety Knowledge & Practices of Vulnerable Groups [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 968Kb]
University of Otago
Improving Fire Safety In New Zealand Among Vulnerable Population Groups
This project falls into several parts for its first year of funding. It sets out to establish the actual risk of fire injury in the population by means of a surveillance study making use of a range of different sources of documentation. The project will make use of the FIRS database and coronial reports to study the circumstances of fatal fires, but will also make use of hospital data to establish the nature and extent of fire-related injuries. This is an area where there is potentially great community cost and relatively little data. This part of the project is planned to run for a further two years. In the first year there will also be a study of fire incidence related to other accepted indices of social deprivation. Such a study has not been carried out in New Zealand previously. The project will also partly fund a follow-up study of the status of smoke alarms installed in 4000 homes in a previous study to establish whether or not they are operational at predetermined intervals.
The study will provide the New Zealand Fire Service with data on the occurrence of fire fatalities and will provide hitherto unavailable information on the causes and consequences of fire injuries. This combined with the information on smoke alarms will help to highlight strategies to reduce the risks.
Report 5: Social & economic deprivation and fatal unintentional domestic fires in NZ 1988 - 1998 [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 449Kb]
Report 6: Where in NZ have fatal domestic fires occurred? Descriptive analysis of data 1986 - 1998 [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 408Kb]
Report 7: Follow-up survey of Auahi Whatatupato smoke alarm installation project in Eastern BoP [Download PDF, Acrobat 5.0 or later, 503Kb]