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Subterranean fires in the UK - the problem

Information Paper 3/89

BRE, 1989
Subterranean fires in the UK - the problem

Document Status



Core Supplement


Information Paper


As part of its work on the fire hazards of contaminated land, FRS has investigated the incidence of subterranean fires in all types of site in the UK. The incidents involved a range of different site materials, mainly tipped domestic waste and coal waste. Some of the sites involved had been redeveloped. Many of the fires were difficult to control: half required more than one attendance of the local fire service and a few could not be extinguished. The survey did not throw any new light on effective methods of prevention and extinguishment, and further work is needed. This paper will be of particular interest to developers, buildings and local authority planning departments as prospective sites must be carefully examined for the presence of active or burned out subterranean fires before any decision to build is taken.


Beever, P. F.


Publisher History

BRE is a building science centre that generates new knowledge through research. This is used to create products, tools and standards that drive positive change across the built environment. BRE helps its government and private sector clients meet the significant environmental, social and economic challenges they face in delivering homes, buildings and communities. BRE is owned by the BRE Trust, a registered charity. The Trust uses the profits made by the BRE companies to fund research and education that advances knowledge of the built environment.



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