Twenty shacks destroyed in five minutes. That’s how quickly fires can spread in informal settlements.
This is one of the major results of the world’s largest informal settlement fire experiment consisting of twenty homes.
The experiment was conducted by the Fire Engineering Research Unit at Stellenbosch University (FireSUN) in collaboration with the Western Cape Disaster Management, Fire & Rescue Services and the Breede Valley Municipality (BVM) Fire Department who hosted the experiment and provided significant assistance to the overall research efforts. The work forms part of a collaborative project with the University of Edinburgh looking at how to reduce the impact of such fires, which has been funded by the UK-based Global Challenges Research Fund.
The results of the experiment have been published recently in Fire Technology, one of the leading academic journals in fire safety.
[A video of the experiment can be watched at https://youtu.be/kkXr6ueakAU with the technical details