School of Civil Engineering

Together with four internationally renowned universities, The University of Queensland has joined forces to launch the International Fire Safety Consortium.

This global research initiative brings together knowledge and expertise across the field of fire safety engineering to tackle the most critical fire safety challenges of our time.

The Consortium will combine members of the UQ Fire team with researchers from The University of Edinburgh, Lund University, The University of Maryland, The University of Melbourne.

The group will engage in research, education and collaboration with industry, government and non-governmental organisations to help inform policy and practice, protect property and to save lives.

Fires result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries each year with financial losses estimated between one and two per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP); a total of approximately $76 billion USD worldwide.

Due to current trends in global urbanization, climate change, human migration and social inequality, the need to address fire safety as a humanitarian issue has become urgent.

Major fire-related disasters are predicted to increase, as research shows that changes in climate lead to warmer and drier conditions and longer bush fire seasons, resulting in an increased area being burned and more frequent fires. 

Fire is also an increasing threat to individuals living in low- and middle-income communities across the globe, making fire safety a social equality issue.

Fire statistics analysis shows a significantly greater fire risk associated with living in social housing (such as Grenfell Tower in London) and belonging to lower income sectors, as well as those living in informal settlements.

This is shown to result in greater fatalities, injuries that leave many people with permanent disabilities, and damage to properties, infrastructure and businesses.

The Consortium will bring together expertise across a broad range of areas, including structural fire safety, fire development modeling, wildfires, industrial fire protection systems, fire technology design, risk analysis, engineered timber and many more, to work on these issues. 

For more information, visit the International Fire Safety Consortium website or contact Dr David Lange at d.lange@uq.edu.au.