New Book on Post-tensioned Concrete in fire

A new book will be published by Springer titled; Structural Fire Performance of Contemporary Post-tensioned Concrete Construction. The book is available now. You can now order or download it here . The book features: A follow up to my highly cited Fire Safety Journal 2011 literary review paper - doubling the amount of tests analyzed; New insights on bonded post-tensioned concrete construction; Concise…

Reigniting a Candle

Every year candle fires can be attributed to over 100 civilian deaths, as well as nearly 900 fire fighter injuries. They represent nearly 4% of civilian home fire deaths (NFPA stats). Candles are by far a serious and not to be misunderstood beast. On the days after where many observed Earth Hour, thousands would have lit these beasts,…

Learning at the Golden Gate

There is no more perfect North American example to learn about fire science history and earthquakes than at the city of San Francisco. Even a centennial after the 1906 quake and fire, the effects still resonate within the city in both its new infrastructure and the character of its constructions. I had a wonderful opportunity to…

Hauntings and the Denver Equitable Building

The Denver Fire tests of 1890 were revolutionary to the practice of fire safety engineering. The tests were performed under direction of architectural firm, Andrews, Jaques and Rantoul. The objective was to compare three allegedly 'fire-proof' flooring arch systems which had been proposed for the Denver Equitable Building through a competitive bid process. For the building contract, the Pioneer fire proof construction company…

Westmount Arena Fire in 1918 and the National Hockey League

Sports fans are eagerly anticipating the start of the new National Hockey League (NHL) season beginning next month. I have always loved ice hockey especially its history. Growing up I was fascinated by the statistics, and the growth of ice hockey as a sport. I remember reading about the Westmount Arena, the home of the NHL's…

What do Charles Dickens, Michael Faraday and James Braidwood have in common?

Be sure to check out my recent letter to the editor in Fire Technology this week here. The letter is a teaser of the History of fire sciences and technology project that I am currently putting together.  The letter is an essay describing Charles Dickens' role with promoting fire sciences to the greater public in the Victorian…

National Personnel Records Center Fire of 1973 – Why its news today

In 1956, a National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) building was constructed in St Louis to hold military personnel records. The upper floor of this building caught fire on July 12th 1973. After a 22 hour fire the roof of the structure (made of prestressed concrete) suffered a 30% collapse. Ultimately the upper floor was removed post-fire. Today the…

The Fire of Beccles, November 1586

Part the History of fire sciences and technology project that I have been working on the last two years involves digitizing/archiving old documents related to fire sciences and technology. When I say old, I mean anything from 1920 all the way back to roman times. While some of these older documents speak of new ways to scientifically understand fire…

Fire videos from British Pathé

The British Pathé has recently uploaded their film archive to Youtube. Among these films are about 200 or so short videos about building fires,  fire fighting measures and even fire research. The films were recorded between 1896 and 1973. The digitization was performed in 2002 using finances from a National Lottery grant (see the telegraph article for more details here on…